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66-1 



9^0*931 
Lin 

Between tears and. laughter 



66-15299 
9U0.951 L^ 13 

Be?veen tears and laughter 




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DD1 D337D3M E 




BETWEEN TEARS 
AND LAUGHTER 



"The Sage is one who has first discovered what is 
common in our hearts/' 

MENCIUS 

"O my friend, why do you, who are a citizen of the 
great and mighty and wise city of Athens, care so 
much about the laying up of the greatest amount of 
money and honor and reputation, and so little about 
Wisdom and truth?" 

SOCRATES on trial 

"The building of a peaceful world is not something 
to be accomplished by the writing of a treaty. It 
takes time to work out the relationships of men and 
women, but if we hope for peace, it must be done." 

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT 



BOOKS BY LIN YUTANG 
Published by THE JOHN DAY COMPANY 

MY COUNTRY AND MY PEOPLE 
THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING 
MOMENT IN PEKING 
WITH LOVE AND IRONY 
A LEAF IN THE STORM 
BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 



LIN YUTANG 








THE JOHN DAY COMPANY NEW YORK 



COPYRIGHT, 1943, BY LIN YUTANG 



All rights reserved. This book., or parts 

thereof, must not be reproduced in 

any form without permission. 



This is a John Day Wartime Book. 

This complete copyright edition is produced in full compliance 

with the Government's regulations for conserving paper and 

other essential materials. 



MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

PREFACE TO MYSELF vii 

I. THE SITUATION 

1. A CONFESSION I 

2. KARMA IO 

3. THE EMERGENCE OF ASIA 1 8 

4. THE SUICIDE OF GREECE 23 

5. CHURCHILL AND PERICLES 33 

6. WORLD WAR III 50 

II. THE METHOD 

7. THE "WHITE MAN'S BURDEN" 58 

8. GOVERNMENT BY MUSIC 65 

9. MATHEMATICS AND PEACE 74 

10. DEFENSE OF COURTESY 8 1 

11. EUROPEANIZATION OF THE WORLD 87 

12. DEFENSE OF THE MOB 93 

13. THE FUTURE OF ASIA HO 

III. SYMPTOMS 

14. PEACE BY POWER 121 

15. A PHILOSOPHY OF PEACE 127 

16. PEACE BY POINT RATIONS 133 

17. THE SCIENCE OF THE BLOODY EARTH 146 

1 8. THE INTELLECTUAL'S DILEMMA 159 

IV. DIAGNOSIS 

19. THE CHARACTER OF THE MODERN AGE 163 

20. ORIGINS OF THE MECHANISTIC MIND 174 

21. SCIENCE TO THE RESCUE 1 86 

22. THE SEARCH FOR PRINCIPLES 2OO 

23. THE COMMON STANDARD FOR MEN 206 

24. EPILOGUE Kj^A 1 ? (lit CiiB 2I4 

1 



TO 

RICHARD J. WALSH 

PEARL S. BUCK 
IN ABIDING FRIENDSHIP 



PREFACE TO MYSELF 

THE purpose of this book is to say something that must be 
said and say it with simplicity. 

The age calls for simple statements and restatements of 
simple truths. The prophets of doom are involved, those who 
would bring light must be clear. 

Our problem is the problem of moral decay and regeneration. 
From a handful of dust faith must come. There is more hope 
in a heather rose than in all the tons of Teutonic philosophy. 

I do not know how to say these things, but God give me 
strength to say them. 

The shadow of another war already looms before us. We 
have to think straight and think fast. 

LIN YUTANG 



I. THE SITUATION 



1 



A CONFESSION 

AS I take up my pen to put down the thoughts bursting for 
expression in my head and my heart, I am troubled by the 
question of ruthless honesty and whether it is worth while. The 
question is not whether it is worth while to myself, but to the 
public. I have decided that it is worth while. For every good 
book is worth the reader's while when there is a real com- 
munion of the spirit, and this is possible only when he feels 
he is being taken into the author's confidence and the author 
is willing to reveal to him the innermost searchings of his heart 
and talk, as it were, in an unbuttoned mood, collar and tie 
loose, as by a friend's fireside. Nobody is ever misunderstood 
at a fireside; he may only be disagreed with. Agreement of 
opinion is the least important thing; disagreement is not only 
profitable, but necessary to thinking. At the fireside of a friend 
there is many a heated argument, after which both friends see 
many things not seen before. The writer who is willing to let 
go is sure of being understood, and only friendship which can 
stand occasional plain speaking is worth having. 

I may as well make a confession here. For a month or so, I 
have been living in a daze. My mind, as I look back upon it 
now, has been a complete blank I can only remember fuming 
and lying awake at night, thinking, thinking, thinking of how 
to break the solid wall of the Washington blockade of supplies 
for China. And thinking, lying awake at night, over the puzzle 
that President Roosevelt gave us. "Even now," said the Presi- 
dent, "we are flying into China as much Lend-Lease material 
as ever traversed the Burma Road." That statement contained 
a joker, and I didn't like it I didn't like joking and quibbling 



2 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

about vital supplies for my country at war. I knew the exact 
tonnage being flown in, which, no official has dared to make 
public. It was the last straw, and broke the camel of easy-paced 
Chinese patience. It was a slap in the face, and stunned me into 
a half-daze. 

Let me tell you how the Chinese camel broke. I had been 
slapped in the face before, or rather I felt China had been, 
successively. My country being pledged to a life-and-death 
struggle with Japan, these slaps were so personal that I felt as 
though someone had slapped me bodily. I have heard of pris- 
oners being slapped by the Japanese, and have often wondered 
what Jesus would say about that. Jesus' injunctions ended with 
the second smiting on the left cheek; what one should do after 
turning the right cheek, if there was a third slap, followed by 
a fourth, the Bible did not tell us. Always it was not the injury, 
but the abuse, that hurt. What I could not stand was not self- 
ishness f or that I could always understand ; what I could not 
stand was bad manners. It was not so hard to be kicked unin- 
tentionally; it was harder to be told that being kicked didn't 
matter, or that the kicker had just never thought anything 
about it. I knew as well as any American that America was 
shipping oil and scrap iron to Tokyo to bomb Chinese women 
and children. Chinese patience is big enough for that. In a 
hypothetical case, if China should now declare herself a neutral 
and send scrap iron to Japan while the United States is fighting 
her, meanwhile maintaining a friendly relationship with the 
United States and praising her for her "heroic struggle," I 
doubt whether there would be as much equanimity in the 
American press or American diplomatic quarters as China 
showed before Pearl Harbor. But when President Roosevelt in 
the summer of 1941 called this policy of shipping iron and oil 
to Japan a "success," with evident satisfaction, that was the first 
big slap on my face. Of course all who hurt people with their 
words hurt through thoughtlessness. It obscured all the pin 
pricks before the steady protests of the State Department to 



A CONFESSION 3 

Tokyo on the violation of U. S. property rights in China, on 
the damage to an American warehouse and three benches at 
Wuhu or a church building apd four cats at Chinkiang, while 
ignoring the bombing of Chinese women. 

The second slap came when the London Government or- 
dered the Burma Road closed a second time. Since Britain, as 
events clearly demonstrated, neither meant for a moment to 
hold Burma with her own troops, nor would allow the en- 
trance of Chinese troops, it was, in fact if not in name, an order 
to close the Burma Road. But then an English general gloated 
over the fall of Burma and expressed his "satisfaction" at the 
campaign which "gained three months for strengthening of 
India's defense." 

The confiscation by General Wavell of China's Lend-Lease 
supplies arriving in India and Burma without previous notifi- 
cation of Chungking was a third slap. 

The failure to make some slight effort to relieve the blockade 
of China by adequate air transport, and the obstructionist and 
dilly-dallying attitude of certain Washington bureaucrats in 
this matter, was a fourth big slap. 

The shabby treatment accorded the Chinese Military Mis- 
sion, sent to Washington to provide information and counsel in 
establishing a common war plan against Japan, was a fifth slap. 

The smearing campaign about China's "fascism" and "im- 
perialism" and "hoarding of supplies" as justification for not 
giving military aid to China adding insult to injury was a 
severe sixth slap. 

Naturally, when, on top of all this, President Roosevelt put 
a joker in his statement about a perfect state of things regard- 
ing air transport to China, when it was actually scandalous and 
unprintable, the Chinese camel broke down. At least, as one 
Chinese, I did not think it was funny. . . . Further double 
entendre and lies about Stalin objecting to Chiang being in- 
vited to Casablanca kept me in that stunned condition for a 
month. 



4 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

Then yesterday afternoon I took a walk in the uptown cross- 
streets, straggling with myself and striving for light to avoid 
a nervous collapse. I tried to see my own country as Americans 
would see her. Also I determined to view China's role across 
the decades. I arrived at two conclusions. 

One of these conclusions, which had been slowly forming in 
my mind in the last month, was that China should travel the 
road with America and England in the next decades as a 
friendly nation, under two conditions. The first condition is 
that under whatever semblance or form of World Federation 
may be established, China will never, judging from her present 
experiences during the war, be accorded true equality, because 
she is Asiatic. She will be deprived of an air force of her own 
at the time the war stops, if her Allies can help it. She will not 
be accorded true equality until she is like Japan, twenty years 
from now, when she can build her own tanks and guns and 
battleships. When that time comes, there will be no need to 
argue about equality, such being the standards of the moderjqi 
age. Meanwhile, acting with the traditional Chinese wisdom of 
"pretending to be a damn fool," Chink will be big enough for 
a few more insults and humiliations. Even Japan had to stand 
for the 5:5:3 for a time; the profound effect of this on Japa- 
nese psychology is deeper than westerners suspect, or can even 
understand. But there is the enormous patience, the bigness, 
the reasonableness of China. The second condition is that while 
acting as a friendly nation, China must learn the important 
lesson of acting for national self-interest as western nations 
have done and are doing. Such a friendly status should not 
prevent China from seeking her own profits and national 
strength as the only road to equality with the western powers, 
nor, if similar circumstances arose, should it prevent her from 
sending scrap iron and oil to the fighting enemies of her 
"friends," or closing her "friends' " strategic lines, in order to 
appease another powerful neutral. 

I am convinced that this will be the shape of things, and will 



A CONFESSION 5 

be the road China must travel before she will be treated as an 
equal, all talk of culture and friendship notwithstanding. For 
China, being newly initiated into the family of nations, is like 
a boy on his first day in school. His mother has told him to be 
polite and courteous to everybody so that his parents will not 
be ashamed of him. But I am the uncle who has been to such 
a school himself and who knows too well the ways and ethics 
of such schoolchildren. Seeing his nephew being beaten on his 
way home, the uncle takes off his coat and teaches the boy to 
hit back as the only way to gain the respect of the fellow 
schoolboys. I would stop the boy from moping. . . . Who can 
tell me that the uncle's advice is wrong? From this conviction, 
I gained a certain strength, and I am not going to be upset by 
further slaps in the face before China reaches equality of arms, 
because I am expecting them as the natural law of modern 
world politics. 

The second conclusion I arrived at was a mystic one. It was 
an intuition. I saw China growing strong, and Russia growing 
strong, and all Asia growing strong. I know that this nation 
of 450,000,000 people, united and awakened and purged by the 
war-fire, is coming up; the strength lies in her and nothing the 
western nations can do can stop her or keep her down. 

From these reflections I regained my calm. Now I can be 
amused by these self-important nations who think they can 
dominate the world by sheer force, when Hitler has failed. I 
am no longer angry; only the stupidity of it all is a little boring. 
These thoughts blew like a whiff of clean air through the tor- 
tuous maze in which my will and my mind were imprisoned 
and paralyzed for a period. I came home, and ransacked the 
refrigerator, and laughed. My children said that a great change 
had come over me. 

The human mind is a curious thing. It can take just so much 
and no more. In a recent discussion about bastards, my friends 
and I went over all the great talented bastards of history not 
the "bastards" according to the New York taxi-drivers, which 



6 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

include all New York pedestrians. We discussed the social 
handicaps of illegitimate children, and how some succumbed 
and others by sheer force of character or intellect overcame 
them. Confucius was one; Ts'in Shih-huang, who built the 
Great Wall, was another. These became the tougher for what 
they had gone through. At a point, when the mind is strong 
enough, it always transcends the personal circumstances. Some- 
times, provided the mind has sufficient moral and intellectual 
strength, it turns futile rage and scorn into a comedy of spar- 
kling tears and laughter. 

When such a mind comes into contact with the sordid reali- 
ties of this world its pomposities, hypocrisies, and stupidities 
the sparks that are set forth produce a beautiful pattern. Now 
this I hold to be the function of the human mind to set off 
sparks. When Dr. J. B. Watson and the host of scientific idiots 
picture the human mind as consisting merely of a set of reac- 
tions to dinner bells, instead of to ideas, idiosyncrasies, and 
vagaries of this blessed middle state, all you can do is to throw 
up your hands. . . . 

So even in despair,, man must laugh. The present world 
spectacle may be tragic. I share in all the depths of spiritual 
misery of this tragic decade. I do not believe in an automatic 
millennium that is going to blossom out of this spiritual desert. 
I smell too many corpses around. Human souls have smells as 
well as their bodies. Quite a few souls in a group identified by 
their love for Otto, Franco, and Hirohito have a smell that is 
distinctly stuffy. Others smell of the attic closet. This age is 
tragic, I admit. Is it not tragic, for example, that while in the 
last World War almost everyone believed it was the war to end 
all wars and wanted to make it so, now in this Second World 
War almost no writer that I have read dares even suggest that 
this is the war to end all wars, or act on that belief? We have 
lost the courage to hope. 

The fonder you are of your ideals, the greater your heart- 
breaks. When you wish, for instance, that some slight but posi- 



A CONFESSION 7 

tive steps may be taken for the freedom of India, because India 
stands as the symbol of the issue of freedom for all nations, 
and that ideal is very dear and real to your heart, and some- 
body crushes that ideal like a flower, you feel a sort of pain. 

But there is never a human tragedy but has its comic ele- 
ments. There was probably never an age when the practical 
affairs of men did not look like a madhouse to some sane and 
perceptive minds, and there was never an age without its buf- 
foons. In this connection I recall an excellent passage by Hein- 
rich Heine in his Reisebilder: 

Yes, even in the highest pathos of the world tragedy, bits 
of fun slip in. ... On this great stage of the world all 
passes exactly as on our beggarly boards. On it, too, there 
are tipsy heroes, kings who forget their parts, scenes which 
obstinately stay up in the air, prompters' voices sounding 
above everything, danseuses who create extraordinary ef- 
fects with the poetry of their legs, and costumes, which are 
the main thing. And high in heaven, in the first row of 
the boxes, sit the dear little angels, and keep their lor- 
gnettes on us comedians here down below, and the blessed 
Lord Himself sits seriously in His great box, and, perhaps, 
finds it dull, or calculates that this theater cannot be kept 
up much longer because this one gets too high a salary, 
and that one too little, and that they all play much too 
badly. ... 

Alas, our risers are not gods, but puny, fallible men, like 
the kings who constantly forget their parts, and we common 
men should be their prompters. Sometimes, as on the American 
scene, while the pyrotechnics of Peyroutonism are going on, 
the American prompter's voice does seem to sound above 
everything. At heart, the prompters mean only well. And it is 
not in America alone that old actors tend to forget their lines; 
in the four corners of the earth, the play is not going too 



8 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

smoothly; and there seems to be a great deal of shouting and 
confusion over this scene in Spain, that scene in North Africa, 
and another scene in Austria in which the producer and the 
prompters cannot come to an agreement as to whether Otto of 
Hapsburg should step out on the boards or not, and still an- 
other scene of terrific confusion in India, where men fighting 
for freedom are fighting men fighting for their freedom* 

And do not forget, prompters do help to save a performance. 
Old actors are forgetful creatures and a little prompting in 
time may yet help them to come off with a creditable perform- 
ance. When the play is finished and the curtain rises again and 
again, the prompter is even willing to join in the applause and 
bring up the bouquets. But while the performance is going on, 
the prompter's heart is in his mouth when the actor goes on 
forgetting for a third and a fourth time, and does not even 
seem to understand the theme of the whole play. After the 
performance, the old actor will swear at the prompter in the 
wing, "You presumptuous, meddlesome fool! I knew per- 
fectly well what I was doing." It is then up to the prompter to 
humor him by saying, "Of course you did. You were perfectly 
magnificent as ever, Horatio!" 

So comedy is mixed with tragedy and the play goes on> and 
we see Edea and Hull rehearsing hurriedly, after the second 
act has opened, that scene about Russia which properly be- 
longed to the prologue of the play. There are saints and sinners, 
and democrats and imperialists, and the imperialists are fight- 
ing for freedom and the democrats are fighting for empire, 
which means both are fighting to surrender their proper do- 
mains, or pretend to. Gandhi prays and fasts, which is such a 
curious act that no Christian can understand it, while Lord 
Halifax remarks that if he, as an Episcopalian, were to go up 
to the roof of the Viceroy's Palace to pray to God and fast, he 
would probably be sent to an insane asylum. There is Sir Nor- 
man Angell, hody defending the right to freedom and the 
right of England in fighting the Indian right to freedom. I 



A CONFESSION 9 

wonder what the dear little angels sitting in their front row 
boxes and looking down with their lorgnettes would do. I have 
a feeling that the year 1942 was the year in which the angels 
in heaven wept over their namesake on earth. If angels have 
tears. . . . 

The time of world tragedy is hardly the time to laugh. But 
the prompter means well, even though if he shouts out too 
loud he contributes to the comedy, for there is something in- 
trinsically funny about human mistakes. Every age has its 
buffoons and the buffoons make you laugh. Great men make 
great mistakes and small men make small mistakes. Then the 
great men love to point out the small mistakes of the small 
men, while they do not wish to have their great mistakes 
pointed out by the small men. A mistake is something which 
it is the privilege of the great men to commit and of the small 
men of this earth to point out after they are dead. Death comes 
and the buffoonery is over and we take the historical view. 
Dead men tell no tales and answer no arguments, and dead 
censors delete no passages from the books of posterity; so let 
them have the pleasure of deleting them now. We can already 
smile at the mistakes of Neville Chamberlain, the errors of the 
then popular national heroes of Versailles and of all the League 
of Nations officials in the last decade, because now the mistakes 
are irretrievable and pointing them out indicates a fine his- 
torical sense. On the assumption that all our dead ancestors and 
all the great statesmen of the earth are fools or buffoons except 
those still controlling our lives, we can go safely. The great 
thing about the teaching of history is that we must teach his- 
tory but must not let history teach us. 

Everything has its place and time. We men of the nineteen- 
f orties can smile at the mistakes of the nineteen-thirties, and, in 
turn, the men of the nineteen-fif ties will laugh at the mistakes 
of the nineteen-forties. It is this historical perspective that shall 
save us. When the war is over, the snails will be on the thorn, 
and the world will wag on, very much alive, as it always does, 



io BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

between tears and laughter. Sometimes there are more tears 
than laughter, and sometimes there is more laughter than tears, 
and sometimes you feel so choked you can neither weep nor 
laugh. For tears and laughter there will always be so long as 
there is human life. When our tear wells have run dry and 
the voice of laughter is silenced, the world will be truly dead. 



2 



KARMA 

BUT if we take the historical perspective and view the develop- 
ment of human events, we are struck by a paradox which the 
science of human history so far has not been able to solve and 
the economic school of historians tend to ignore because they 
cannot make head or tail of it. That is the so-called "imponder- 
ables" of history. The word "ponder," I understand, comes 
from Latin pondus which means "weight/' and "imponder- 
able'* means to me not so much something which we cannot 
ponder as something which we cannot measure or weigh* 
What a sad admission for the "scientists" of history! But there 
it is, a thing without weight or mass or shape or form. 

Yet, while we may be perfectly contented with the facts and 
figures in contemporary events and policies, such as the num- 
ber of dive bombers and tanks with which we know we are 
going to defeat Hitler, we get curiously spiritual when we view 
human events of the past across a stretch of decades. We run 
up constantly against these "imponderables," or "spiritual 
forces" or "psychological factors" a kind of irreducible re- 
siduum which defies further scientific analysis. In other words, 
we are forced against our wish to accept a spiritual concept of 
history. But our temper of thinking is such that we hate any- 



KARMA ii 

thing which we cannot conveniently weigh or analyze or put 
in mathematical formulas. If we could have an; electrometer to 
gauge the voltage of sentiments, we would immediately fce able 
to understand them. As it is, with a sense of concession to an 
unconquerable enemy, we lay it in a corner of our laboratory, 
muttering something about not knowing what to do with "that 
puzzling substance." 

So I must speak of "Karma." The Hindus have evolved a 
perfect theory of the law of moral action, and you can under- 
stand this law of moral action only when you take the his- 
torical perspective. Briefly, it is the theory that we are respon- 
sible for our moral thoughts and actions, that these thoughts 
and actions have a causal relationship with the past and the 
future, and that we cannot escape from the chain of causation. 
It is almost like the law of cause and effect in physical motion, 
and the law of the indestructibility of matter and energy in the 
physical universe. We have nothing remotely comparable with 
it. The very fact that popular Christianity, as well as popular 
Buddhism, seeks this balance of rewards and punishments in 
the future life shows that they do not recognize, and are not 
aware of, the adequate principle of moral causation in this 
present life. 

Reading President Roosevelt's speech on Lincoln's Birthday 
I found that Lincoln was a Brahmin; in fact anyone who be- 
lieves in the persistence of the effects of our thoughts and 
actions is a Brahmin. There was a quotation from Lincoln 
given at the end of Roosevelt's radio broadcast: 

Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this 
Congress and of this administration will be remembered 
in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignifi- 
cance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial 
through which we pass will light us, in honor or dishonor, 
to the latest generation. 



12 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

Abraham Lincoln happened to state the principles of Karma 
accurately and adequately in this single passage. "We cannot 
escape history": that is Karma, Lincoln might have said in 
1862, "The sounds which I am uttering now vanish apparently 
into thin air, yet they persist into eternity. If we had a scien- 
tific apparatus delicate and sensitive enough to catch and record 
these sound waves, which, we don't, we might find that these 
sounds stretch into the eternity of space. Similarly, with our 
moral actions." "We will be remembered in spite of ourselves": 
that is inescapability, "No personal significance or insignifi- 
cance will spare one or another of us": even the smallest act 
has its consequences. "Light us to the latest generation": the 
effect is practically eternal, through effects producing further 
effects. "In honor and dishonor": we bear the dead weight of 
the past and carry in ourselves its shames and its glories. In 
other words, the moment we live in is a causal and indissoluble 
link between yesterday and tomorrow. The word "now" has 
mathematically no meaning and no boundary: some time 
elapses between my writing the first letter "n" and the last let- 
ter "w" The stream of time is carrying us forward; we live 
between yesterday and tomorrow. 

In the light of this Brahmin theory, the thesis "Let's win the 
war first an<d talk of what we are fighting for afterwards" sim- 
ply does not make sense. Time refuses to be cut up like this, 
"Win-the-War-First" Churchill's dictum is philosophic non- 
sense, based on the grip of inertia of the past and fear of the fu- 
ture. It is based on his complete unwillingness to escape from 
the past and his great desire to escape from the future. One 
must live in mortal terror of the peace to refuse to think about 
or discuss the postwar problems. I know and I notice that even 
W-t-W-F Churchill is forced, as time goes on, to discuss the 
status of the British colonies and of Polish frontiers before he 
can see his way to win the war. Meanwhile the time machine, 
the wheel of Karma, is carrying Churchill forward, as a spring 
torrent carries a leaf swiftly and surely toward an overflooded 



KARMA 13 

dam. Sooner or later, it will reach that much feared overflooded 
dam of peace unless it is left behind by time. 

There is a law in physics that "action and reaction are equal." 
It has a certain awe-inspiring simplicity, like the law of uni- 
versal gravitation. It takes some courage to state simple things 
like that, but back of it are some complicated mathematical 
equations, probably twenty-seven letters long, that the layman 
cannot handle and does not even suspect. The similar law that 
action and reaction are equal in the realm of moral action is 
equally subtle, but less capable of mathematical proof. The 
Buddhist doctrine is that Karma is "cumulative," that it is 
something that is accumulated day by day and year by year by 
our little acts and our secret thoughts, almost like physical mo- 
mentum that one gains or loses by little acts, hesitations, and 
delays. This Karma carries one along toward a future situa- 
tion eventually salvation or death. Buddha himself states it in 
plain psychological terms when he says in the opening sen- 
tences of the Dhammapada: 

All that we are is the result of what we have thought: 
it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our 
thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, 
pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox 
that draws the carriage. 

All that we are is the result of what we have thought: 
it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our 
thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, 
happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves 
him. 

This sort of teaching requires a little Hindu imagination 
which conceives of moral things almost as real as physical 
things. If we could give our moral self a body, we would find 
that body consists of ganglions of our thoughts, acting like 
vaso-motor nerves producing muscular actions. The sum of 



I 4 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

such actions acting on the persons themselves and on fellow 
human beings would produce the momentum of human events 
and determine the future situation of the human world and 
of the individual selves. Evil breeds sorrow and good breeds 
happiness, as inevitably and as accurately as one billiard ball 
sets another rolling at a particular angle and with a particular 
force. That is the theory of moral responsibility of all human 
acts and thoughts, and that is what the Buddhists mean by 
the Wheel of the Law ("Dharma"), and again, in a more 
pathetic sense, by the Wheel of Karma. 

We have to be satisfied with some such statement of the 
moral laws of the universe. It has sufficient austerity and rigor 
about it, which is what we want. We are used to economic 
thinking. Bales of cotton and marginal excess of exports over 
imports and lowering and raising of tariffs are easy and clear 
to handle mentally; there is something neat and tidy about 
them. "Bales of cotton" makes sense, but "bales of good will 
and co-operation'' rarely does, and we dislike hazy, unclear 
thinking. Once in a while, however, our politicians leave this 
comfortable realm and, by lapses of thinking, launch forth into 
abstract phrases like "the unconquerable spirit of man against 
oppression" and the "force of the human love for freedom," 
and the public grows a little restive with the lushness and 
emotion. Then, by further lapses of memory, our columnists 
and publicists once in a while further indulge in terms like 
"the invisible forces of history" and the "psychological factors" 
and the "imponderables" as if they were real things. 

The fact is, we hate to ponder over the imponderables. The 
more we ponder over them, the more cloudy or confused our 
thoughts become, and the very realistic and straight-thinking 
lobbyists and Senators soon call us down for handing out sen- 
timental stuff and rubbish. Secretly, we feel a little ashamed of 
ourselves and a little sheepish for committing such sins of the 
spirit, and we make a resolution to talk of tariff quotas and 
stick to brass tacks next time, and, God willing, we shall sue- 



KARMA 15 

ceed. Wrecked reputations can still be salvaged if we talk next 
time in Lard-hitting terms that this age can understand. Raise 
the standard of living, for instance sheer physical, animal 
living or minimum wage standards and guaranteed income. 
Nobody will misunderstand that. Eventually everything comes 
back in terms of gold, unless it is silver, for we are living in 
the Golden Age. All that glitters is not gold: there is antimony 
and tungsten, but at least there is a price for it. 

That explains our impatience with lush sentimentality. But 
there are many things we have to do with that we can neither 
weigh nor measure nor even prove. Tlie dignity of the individ- 
ual x for instance, and the idea of equality and freedom, can 
never be proved, for science can never prove that the individ- 
ual is dignified or even free. On the contrary, if science is 
science, it can only prove there is no such thing as freedom, 
or where would be the prestige of the mechanical laws? These 
things forever elude us, but held at a respectable distance and 
clothed in eerie shapes, their presence nevertheless seems real. 
In our forgetful and less scientific and mathematical moments, 
we know they have a meaning, an existence behind a veil, 
a shape that comes up behind us on a silent night as we are 
sitting by the fireside and suddenly puts its hands across our 
eyes and whispers, "Guess who?" Persistently these shapes 
come to haunt us. Only to the spiritual thinkers do they become 
real, almost with a weight and mass and form. 

The Indian conception of Karma somewhat scares us with 
its exactitude. Truth pays (it makes us happy) and justice pays, 
and, if Indian metaphysics is right, freedom of the soul pays 
enormous dividends. Actually Buddha and the Brahmins never 
talked so vulgarly, but they meant substantially the same thing. 
We are willing to consider the imponderables if we can be 
made to see that they produce results, sometimes very impor- 
tant results, and if we can prove that action and reaction are 
equal in the moral as well as the physical realm. And so the 
word "Karma" has come to mean for me a means of restating 



16 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

a spiritual concept of history, of asserting the reality of moral 
causes and effects over against economic causes and remedies. 
Unless this is understood, our discussion of peace and war can 
never rise above the level o swine~and-slop economics. 

The China war is a fairly good illustration of the law of 
Karma for the present called "imponderables." The strength 
of Chinese resistance can be proved to be equal to the measure 
of the enormities of Japan's previous acts. It is of the very es- 
sence of Karma that we must speak of its "cumulative" effect 
over a period of years or decades, until it is finally shown in 
visible events. Whence arose that great moral force which 
united the common people of China against the Japanese and 
precluded die desertion of local generals to the invader's side, 
which was commonly believed possible? 

This force can be understood only as reaction to the sum 
total of Japan's previous acts. To mention only a few in this 
series: the Twenty-One Demands of 1915; the overt intention 
to rape Shantung at the Versailles Conference; the rape of 
Manchuria in 1931; the Shanghai War of 1932; the brazen and 
shameless wholesale smuggling of Japanese goods under Jap- 
anese army and consular protection in North China in the 
years 1932-1936; the encroachment on Chahar in 1933-1934; 
the sneak attempt to penetrate Inner Mongolia in 1936. All 
through the years 1931-1937, anti-Japanese demonstrations were 
suppressed in China. But the emotional reaction, though invis- 
ible, steadily accumulated and accounts today for the inner 
strength and stubbornness and unity of Chinese resistance. 
Furthermore, according to the law of Karma, no small act, 
however insignificant, happened without sending a ripple 
through the following decades. Such a local happening as 
cutting ofif the nose and ears and gouging out the eyes of a 
Chinese diplomatic official, Tsai Kung-shih, Chinese Foreign 
Commissioner at Tsinan in 1928, left its imprint on the Chinese 
mind and spirit as much as the wholesale rape and slaughter 
at Nanking in 1937. The Japanese thought that the "episode" 



KARMA 17 

ended with the official "closing of the Incident"; the Karma 
theory says it did not. The Japanese could not escape history, 
nor could the Chinese. Briefly, that was why the Chinese and 
the Japanese had to fight. "A small injustice can be drowned 
in wine/' says a Chinese writer, "but a great wrong can be 
restituted only by the sword," Here moral causes and effects 
are immensely real. 

The same is true of the war in the West. If someone could 
gauge the voltage generated in 130,000,000 American breasts by 
the Pearl Harbor attack, he could be almost certain that the 
moral effect was as disastrous for Japan as the physical effect 
was militarily advantageous for her at the initial stage of the 
war. But it is exactly such generated voltage that our diplomats 
and army men despise and ignore when they start out like 
small men to direct the greatest campaign of world history. 

There are a rhythm and a pattern of things in human his- 
tory if only we could detect them, I understand that X-ray 
pictures showing strains caused by impact on metal and lucite 
reveal highly interesting patterns which the naked human eye 
cannot see. And I am told by anti-vegetarians that when we 
cut up a radish, the agony of its spirit is shown in an outra- 
geous emitting of electric currents that must be a scream. We 
cannot hear the scream of the radish, nor could Hitler reckon 
the "karmatic" currents set up by outraged and cut-up Europe. 
But history will make these plain enough in time when their 
effects become evident. And Hitler is not going to escape his- 
tory. In other words, he is not going to escape the Wheel of 
Karma. I really wish Hitler were a Buddhist He would have 
been a little more subtle. What the Germans never really un- 
derstand is metaphysics, all Teutonic tomes to the contrary. 

It is, however, not Hitler alone who ignores the karmatic 
currents of history. We of the Allied nations do not admit that 
such karmatic currents of "imponderables" exist, and we are 
not providing for them, being contented on the strictly swine- 
and-slop level of war and peace planning. We simply have no 



i8 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

conception of Karma, Economics makes no distinction between 
human mouths and pigs' snouts, and all the charts and disser- 
tations on food and populations and tariffs are no more than 
the counting of snouts. The idea is that if you segregate the 
hogs in different sties and throw in enough hog fodder, with 
the fences neither too high nor too low between them, the hogs 
are going to live in peace, and then a millennium will descend 
upon the earth. 



3 



THE EMERGENCE OF ASIA 

MEANWHILE the Wheel of Karma grinds on, which is my 
way of saying that invisible forces of history are breaking 
up the international structure of this world. Politically, we ig- 
nore them. We are acting in this war as if these forces did not 
exist. The laws of Karma can never be defied or nullified. We 
are sowing what we do not mean to reap. 

The one great fact in this world war is the emergence of 
Russia and of Asia, but we prefer to ignore it. I have made 
a passing discourteous reference to Sir Norman AngelL As a 
European liberal, he is probably as good as any. But as a 
European liberal, his liberal concepts of the necessity of world 
co-operation and standing and falling together are strictly 
"white" and limited to west of the Suez Canal, and specifically 
to a refurbished form of "Union Now" with England. His 
notion of Russia and of Asia stands intellectually on a par with 
the Tory Lady Astor, who says, "I would like China and Rus- 
sia to be in the framework of a new society formed by America 
and the British Commonwealth, but they would have to get 
into the 'British way of thinking.'" Such superb gems can 



THE EMERGENCE OF ASIA 19 

only be cut in London. The following mathematical riddle has 
always puzzled me: if the diameter of the human skull is five 
inches five, but the thickness of its sides is also five inches five, 
what is the empty space in between ? 

The nineteenth-century world structure is crumbling, and an 
Empire breaks unwillingly. If one could see the invisible 
forces rising and risen in Asia, one would be forced to look 
upon this Second World War as a revolution in the world 
structure. This revolution is being forced by Asia upon Europe, 
and not by Europe upon Asia. For verily, we are witnessing 
the birth pangs of a new earth, without being sure of the "birth 
of a new freedom," The forces of a rising Asia are steadily 
moving on. 

Japan is trying to force a revision of the world map by battle. 
China is forcing a revision of Asiatic roles in world politics by 
enormous hope and self-reliance. India is trying, futilely, to 
force a revision by addressing prayers to air patrols and riot 
squads and the flogging whip. The lack of vision on the part 
of the Allied leaders, however, has compelled them to fly in 
the teeth of this Wheel of Karma. And not in Asia alone, 
but throughout the earth, forces are rising, growing, to demand 
that birth of a new freedom of which Abraham Lincoln pro- 
phetically spoke, so that the world shall not be "half-free and 
half -slave." These forces are causing a dislocation of our gen- 
eral ideas and traditions. But being unprepared and caught 
unready, we are meeting them, not with clarity and simplicity 
and strength, but in utter confusion. The first principles being 
not yet established, we are lost in a desert of temporizing 
ingenuities. 

I do not often quote Jesus, but I must quote him this time. 

When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye 
say, There cometh a shower; and so it is, And when ye 
see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and 
it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face 



20 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not 
discern this time? 

The emergence of Asia and I think of Russia as half-Asiatic 
is the one greatest single fact of this war. It has upset the 
war schedule and is going to upset the peace schedule. It will 
upset everything in fact except Lady Astor's imperturbable 
"British way of thinking." If we don't look out, the mesmeric 
powers of Lady Astor's "way of thinking" can think the world 
revolution to a stop. -But it is my belief that even if we 
wanted a modified survival of the nineteenth-century fabric in 
the form, of a fairly white domination of the world, it is now 
a little too late. Asia is too aroused to submit and too big to 
spank* The West must either plan for co-operation with Asia 
or plan without it and make ready for a bigger and better war. 

Ernest Hemingway, on his return from China, quoted a 
Chinese officer as saying, "You know why the Englishman 
wears a monocle ? With one eye, he sees what he wants to see 
and with the other eye he does not see what he does not want 
to see." German officers wear monocles, also. But that is also 
why monocles can never be popular in the United States or 
in China. Lady Astor really means that the Russians and Chi- 
nese should wear British monocles, but we happen to dislike 
them, and so do the Russians. So it seems there is little chance 
of seeing "Russia and China in the framework of a new society 
formed by America and the British Commonwealth." As a 
Chinese, I. would rather hang the new society and keep my 
binocular vision. 

The emergence of Asia simply means this: the end of the era 
of imperialism. Nothing is going to stop it. To keep up the 
nineteenth-century system, the white man would have to stran- 
gle Russia and China. Now it is a little too late. The West may 
still try, as Professor Nicholas John Spykman bravely advises: 
"It is well to remember that, whatever may ultimately be 
achieved in the form of integration and federation, we will 



THE EMERGENCE OF ASIA 21 

start more or less where we left off. Unless the United States 
continues to struggle until she has defeated not only her ene- 
mies [Germany and Japan] but also her former allies [Russia 
and China], the postwar period will begin with an interna- 
tional society composed of numerous independeiU, jstates" 
which is what Professor Nicholas John Spykman dares not 
contemplate. Am I to suppose that this is the type of political 
doctrine being taught in American college classrooms? I re- 
member, during World War I, the term "power politics" used 
to be written as Machtpoliti\ and had a German flavor; now it 
is not necessary Germany has conquered us from within. 

The fact is, that, granted a little common intelligence in the 
racial make-up, any nation will come up in time. How did 
nineteenth-century imperialism begin, and how did the white 
man go about conquering the world, and what made him think 
he was superior to the other peoples? Because the white man 
had guns, and the Asiatics had none. The matter was as simple 
as that. Study the Boxer War and the Sino-French war of the 
nineteenth century. Chinese soldiers in those days carried um- 
brellas and brandished knives; many others were archers. Only 
in the first decade of the twentieth century did we hear of 
Yuan Shih-kai's "New Army/' and by the "New Army" we 
simply meant that his soldiers were the only ones who had 
rifles. If the comparison is disillusioning, let us even assume 
that one army had fowling pieces and the other had Krupp 
rifles. 

If my reader is still following me, he can at once see that the 
only logical way to keep Asia down permanently would be to 
keep the knowledge of the use of rifles and guns from the 
Asiatics as we are trying to keep the American bomb sight 
from the enemy. Stretch it across the decades, and you know it 
cannot be done. For a century that discrepancy in arms alone 
maintained the white empires in Asia. What the great Second 
World War suddenly revealed is that now the Japanese, the 
Chinese, and the Russians all have guns. This fact is going to 



22 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

change world history; the discrepancy no longer exists. What 
is more, the Japanese can fight as well as the white men; so 
can the Russians; so can the Chinese. They are all fighting. 
Now what? Disarm them? Police them? Keep them down by 
Culbertson's "quota principle" like the quota principle of 
5:5:3 for British, U. S., and Japanese navies at the Washington 
Conference ? 

The white man's mission has become a paradox and a boom- 
erang. The white man gave the yellow man the Bible and guns. 
He should have given him the Bible, which he himself had no 
use for, and kept from him the guns that he himself used most 
expertly. He thought, that if he shot a few yellow men on 
earth after his missionaries had saved their souls for heaven, 
that ought to make it even. But he was mistaken. Now the 
yellow man has learned to take the Bible as seriously as his 
white brother, and I am sure the sons of Satan, yellow and 
white, well equipped with tommy guns, will plunge this 
world into another orgy of blood. That is to say, if we are 
naive enough to think that all we need to do is to transfer 
the standards of Europe to Asia and impose the white man's 
power politics on a world scale, we shall have the whole world, 
instead of Europe, as an arena of periodic bloodshed and 
slaughter. 

I am sure that all "progressive-thinking" people, including 
some professors, are thinking in this direction. The beautiful 
pattern of European, chaos, its standards and its ethics, will 
become the pattern for the future world: all Hottentots will 
have a quart of milk a day; the Hindus are to put on collar 
and tie; Madagascans are to go to church; and the world is to 
be thankful for it. That is the white man's mission and the 
boon European civilization will confer upon the world, only 
with a few periodic volcanic eruptions, it is admitted, whose 
hot lava of destruction will run over some village in Guadal- 
canal or Burma. On the other hand, he is going to have a quart 
of milk a day. Is that not a bargain ? 



THE SUICIDE OF GREECE 23 

Our present solution for the changed world picture is in 
fact quite Dimple. The white man is saying to all the other 
races of the world: "I am trying to be perfect even as our 
Father in Heaven is perfect, but all you natives need to do is 
to be perfect like me and get into my way of thinking, and I 
am sure our Father in Heaven will be quite pleased with you. 
He wouldn't mind if you had a little heavier pigment. Now 
toddle along." That is the New Jerusalem according to Lady 
Astor, Clarence Streit, and Sir Norman Angell. 



THE SUICIDE OF GREECE 

THE solution for the international problems arising out of the 
emergence of Asia suggested in the previous chapter does not 
seem satisfactory or attractive to me. International suicide is 
never attractive. 

Herr Professor Nicholas John Spykman prefers a heroic, 
uninterrupted march of the United States of America to world 
supremacy by just a couple of more wars in which she shall 
continue to struggle until she crushes only a couple of hun- 
dred million Russians and only four or five hundred million 
Chinese. . . . He prefers this to the unthinkable alternative of 
"an international society composed of numerous independ- 
ent states." I prefer the latter. The Spenglerian gloom of 
Spykman's prophetic and professorial voice is after all de- 
pressing; we common men should be a little more cheerful. 
What Spykman means is simply that western civilization had 
better commit suicide as Pericles* Athenian Empire did. Let's 
be a little learned and professorial and tiresome and go back 
to Thucydides. 



24 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

Greece perished because she jailed to solve the problem of 
empire versus -freedom. European civilization must also perish 
if it fails to solve the problem of empire versus freedom. How 
perdition will come about we cannot foretell like Nostradamus. 
But the by-plays of the conflict of forces and the episodes and 
the different phases of development, which may take genera- 
tions for us but are only moments in the eyes of God or of 
mankind's history, will be essentially the same as those that 
brought about the suicide of the Greek world. 

There are too many similarities. The advantage of delving 
into Thucydides is that there the picture is focused into a 
smaller and simpler scale, its geography is foreshortened in 
space, and its half-century of conflict and decay is now conven- 
iently foreshortened in time. Briefly, it was the conflict of 
Athenian sea power and Spartan land power, and the sad 
story of the failure of moral leadership. The dream of an 
All-Greek Federation petered out, owing to that moral failure 
and to the unwillingness or incapacity of Athens to solve the 
problem of empire versus freedom. We are wise after the fact 
and can put our finger on the arrogance and stupidity of the 
Athenians as the psychological cause of that failure. Let us only 
hope that the dream of world federation may have less the 
character of the Delian Confederacy, and that there be no 
Alexander from across the mountains to descend upon and 
desolate the Ionian plains and wipe out what was a world of 
glorious human achievements. The tragic motivation of that 
historical drama was that the heroine, Athens, democratic and 
brilliant and arrogant, loved freedom for herself, but could not 
understand the equally passionate love of freedom of the other 
Greek cities. 

Reading history sometimes gives one a curious feeling in 
the pit of the stomach. For the similarities to the modern world 
are rather alarming. Unquestionably the Athenians were demo- 
crats; but unfortunately, democracies could also commit sui- 
cide. Human art had never soared higher than in Athens; the 



THE SUICIDE OF GREECE 25 

light of sweet reason and a wide-awake curiosity had illumi- 
nated her mind, and simplicity and harmony had beautified 
her spirit. Athenian pride was justifiable. Modern presidents 
can boast of no greater achievements in their democracies, 
or in modern civilization in general, than Pericles did of the 
achievements of the Athenian way of life in his Funeral Speech 
in honor of the fallen heroes at the end of the first year of the 
Peloponnesian War. The tone is strikingly like an American 
Presidential Address, 

Before I praise the dead, I should like to point out by 
what principles of action we rose to power, and under 
what institutions and through what manner of life our 
empire became great. . . . Our form of government does 
not enter into rivalry with the institutions of others. We 
do not copy our neighbors, but we are an example to them. 
It is true that we are called a democracy, for the adminis- 
tration is in the hands of the many and not of the few. 
But while the law secures justice for all alike in private 
disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognized; and 
when a citizen is distinguished, he is preferred to the 
public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as a reward 
of merit. Neither is poverty a bar, but a man may benefit 
his country whatever be the obscurity of his condition. 
. , . While we are thus unconstrained in our private 
intercourse, a spirit of reverence pervades our public acts; 
we are prevented from doing wrong by respect for author- 
ity and for the laws, having especial regard to those un- 
written laws which bring upon the transgressor of them 
the reprobation of the general sentiment. 

And we have not forgotten to provide for our weary 
spirits many relaxations from toil; we have regular games 
and sacrifices throughout the year; at home the style of 
life is refined; and the delight which we daily feel in all 
these things helps to banish melancholy. Because of the 



26 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

greatness of our city, the fruits of the whole earth flow 
in upon us; so that we enjoy the goods of other countries 
as freely as of our own. . . * And in the matter of edu- 
cation, whereas they [the "Nazi" Spartans] from early 
youth are always undergoing laborious exercises which are 
to make youth brave, we live at ease, and yet are equally 
ready to face the perils which they face. . , .* 

Pericles could not have spoken better if he were giving a 
speech in honor of the heroes fallen at Guadalcanal. He could 
write the Thanksgiving Proclamation for 1943 in exactly the 
same words. For here is the essence of democracy as Pericles 
perceived it and as Thucydides reported it from memory (and 
his own imagination), and in the exact terms in which a New 
Times editorial might have put it: 

For we are lovers of the beautiful, yet with economy, and 
we cultivate the mind without loss of manliness. . . . An 
Athenian citizen does not neglect the state because he takes 
care of his own household; and even those of us who are 
engaged in business have a very fair idea of politics. We 
alone regard a man who takes no interest in public affairs, 
not as a harmless, but as a useless character; and if few of 
us are originators, we are all sound judges of a policy. 
The great impediment to action is, in our opinion, not 
discussion, but want of that knowledge which is gained by 
discussion preparatory to action. For we have a peculiar 
power of thinking before we act and of acting too, whereas 
other men are courageous from ignorance. . .'.To sum 
up: I say that Athens is the school of Hellas, and that the 
individual Athenian in his own person seems to have the 
power of adapting himself to the most varied forms of 
action with the utmost versatility and grace. ... I have 



1 Thucydides, Peloponnesian War, Bk. II, Ch. 36-39. 



THE SUICIDE OF GREECE 27 

dwelt upon the greatness of Athens because I want to show 
you that we are contending for a higher prize than those 
who enjoy none of these privileges. . . . 2 

There was never a clearer defense of the strength of Athe- 
nian democracy and of the Athenian way of life. Unfortunately, 
it was an imperialist democracy, and the Greek world remained 
half-slave and half-free. Athens had survived her "Great War 
I" the Persian Wars and the defeat at Salamis; it was rather 
the failure of moral leadership, the arrogance and stupidity of 
the Athenians in failing to recognize the principle of freedom 
and equality for all Greek cities, that led to incessant wars and 
the final catastrophe. In the words of Professor Godolphin: 

Athenian control of the Delian Confederacy after the 
Persian Wars brought Greece face to face with another 
great problem of the fifth century, the conflict between 
an imperialist democracy based on maritime power and a 
conservative aristocracy based on military superiority. The 
exhaustion produced by the Peloponnesian War, the in- 
adequacy of any Greek State as leader, combined with the 
failure of Pan-Hellenism and the chronic inability of the 
Greeks to create a genuine federation, leads to the political 
solution of the fourth century. 3 

Which was suicide. 

One could wish that Athenian and modern parallels were 
less exact. On the basis that human chicanery, the play of 
power politics, and the emotions of jealousy and fear are the 
same in all ages, Thucydides was quite right in his predictions. 
"But if he who desires a true picture of the events which have 
happened, and of the li\e events which may be expected to 
happen hereafter in the course of human things, shall pro- 

*Ibid., BL II, Ch. 40-42. 

8 Francis R. B. Godolphin, Introduction to The Greek Historians, pp. XIX-XX. 



28 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

nounce what I have written to be useful, then I shall be 
satisfied." 

The parallels are in fact uncomfortably and alarmingly exact, 
Athens was a democracy. It was a sea power, fighting die land 
power of Sparta. Will Durant expresses the situation well: 

But the basic cause of the war was the growth of the 
Athenian Empire, and the development of Athenian con- 
trol over the commercial and political life of the Aegean. 
Athens allowed free trade there in time of peace, but only 
by Imperial sufferance; no vessel might sail that sea with- 
out her consent. . . . Athens defended this domination as 
a vital necessity; she was dependent upon imported food, 
and was determined to guard the routes by which that 
food came. In policing the avenues of international trade 
Athens performed a real service to peace and prosperity 
in the Aegean, but the process became more and more irk- 
some as the pride and wealth of the subject cities grew. 4 

She enforced extraterritoriality upon the other Greek cities; 
any case involving Athenians arising within the Confederacy 
had to be tried at Athenian courts; only Athenian justice was 
good enough, although no one need imagine that the Athenian 
jurors were internationally minded liberals devoid of a hidden 
warmth for their fellow citizens and of contempt for the aliens. 

The federation on a basis of freedom and equality which was 
the only hope for survival of the Greek world had degenerated 
into a farce. For under whatever form and whatever name, 
Athens had to dominate the Greek world. She had to control 
the fleet created in the name of the Confederacy for the com- 
mon defense of the Greek states against aggressors and inter- 
national brigands. Only such an international police could en- 
force international peace in the Aegean Sea. It became such 
a farce that Athens coerced others to join the League and 

*Will Durant, Life of Greece, p. 439. 



THE SUICIDE OF GREECE 29 

demolished the other cities that refused to join, for common 
protection, what was now frankly and unashamedly called her 
"empire." 

If we may believe Thucydides [says Will Durant], the 
democratic leaders of Athens, while making liberty the 
idol of their policy among Athenians, frankly recognized 
that the Confederacy of free cities had become an empire 
of force . . . the inherent contradiction between the wor~ 
ship of liberty and the despotism of empire co-operated 
with the individualism of the Gree]^ states to end the 
Golden Age? 

Thucydides, an Athenian, was ingenuous and impartial 
enough to tell us that the real cause of the Peloponnesian War 
was the domination of Athenian power. The Athenians were 
determined to enforce a Pax Athenica. They were for free 
trade, being themselves dependent upon imported grains from 
Egypt and Thrace, and were modern enough to enforce eco- 
nomic sanctions. Megara rebelled and helped Athen's enemy, 
Corinth. Pericles ordered all Megarian products excluded from 
Attica and the Empire. Megara and Corinth appealed to Sparta. 
Sparta intervened, and demanded the repeal of the embargo. 
Pericles agreed, but demanded in return the throwing open 
of Spartan cities to foreign trade. Sparta agreed, but countered 
with the demand that Athens acknowledge the full independ- 
ence of all Greek cities. Pericles, however, refused to preside 
over the liquidation of the Athenian Empire. Thereupon 
Sparta declared war. Writes Thucydides, "The real though un- 
avowed cause I believe to have been the growth of the Athe- 
nian power, which terrified the Lacedaemonians and forced 
them into war: but the reasons publicly alleged on either side 
were as follows . . ." 6 i.e., quite different. 

*lbid. t p. 440. 

6 Peloponnesian War, Bk. I, Ch. 23. 



30 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

It is therefore correct to say that it was Pericles' Athens that 
ruined the Grecian world, and that the love of power and com- 
mercial imperialism were the causes of war in ancient as in 
modern times. Athenian arrogance and love o power resulted 
in a pattern of power politics very similar to that of the pres- 
ent day disaffection of allies, coercion in times of strength and 
cajolery in moments of weakness, shifting alliances and coun- 
teralliances, internecine wars, and final exhaustion and ruin. 
Will Durant's judgment was as follows: 

Under him [Pericles] Athens had reached her zenith; 
but because her height had been attained in part through 
the wealth of an unwilling confederacy, and through 
power that invited almost universal hostility, the Golden 
Age was unsound in its foundations, and was doomed to 
disaster when Athenian statesmanship failed in the strategy 
of peace. 7 

We would be naive if we believed that the problem of an 
imperialist democracy was new and peculiar to the modern 
world. The Athenians were thoroughly familiar with the prin- 
ciples of power politics and the doctrine of force. They knew 
imperialist prestige hinged upon "firmness" in dealing with 
subject cities. That "firmness," no less than that of the Viceroy 
of India, was shown in her dealings with cities that demanded 
freedom, and the firmness demanded the massacre of all male 
adults of a rebellious Melos and selling their women and chil- 
dren as slaves, much as they prized "freedom" and "democ- 
racy" for themselves. It demanded the slaughter of 1,000 
ringleaders of the Mytilene rebellion; the logic of imperialism 
demanded it. Said Cleon to the Athenian Assembly, "You 
should remember that your empire is a despotism exercised 
over unwilling subjects who are always conspiring against you ; 
they do not obey in return for any kindness which you do them 

* U.je o] Greece, p, 442. 



THE SUICIDE OF GREECE 31 

to your own Injury, but only in so far as you are their master; 
they have no love for you, but they are held down by force." 8 
Gifted with lucid reasoning, the Athenians could make a 
no less eloquent defense of power politics and "expediency" 
against "honor" than ourselves. In the famous debate between 
the Athenians and the Melians, the former said: 

But you and we should say what we really think, and 
aim only at what is possible, for we both alike know 
that into the discussion of human affairs the question of 
justice only enters where the pressure of necessity is equal, 
and that the powerful exact what they can, and the wea\ 
grant what they must. ... Of the gods we believe, and 
of man we know, that by a law of their nature wherever 
they can rule they will. This law was not made by us, 
and we are not the first who have acted on it; we did but 
inherit it, and shall bequeath it to all time, and we know 
that you and all mankind, if you were as strong as we 
are, would do as we do. 9 

Ribbentrop or Lord Linlithgow could not have improved upon 
this. 

The innate belief in force was the reason why Athenian 
statesmanship failed in its strategy for peace. The Greeks did 
believe in a sort of Karma in the form of "Nemesis"; retribu- 
tion followed hybris, "insolent violence." The Greek dramatists 
played upon the theme of the vengeful Nemesis of insolent 
success, but in international politics they were as good as blind, 
though no blinder than we are today. 

There is something comically Aesopian in that debate be- 
tween the Athenians and the Melians, the former trying by 
threat and cajolery to induce the latter to join their "World 
Union," and the latter praying to the former like mice praying 

8 Peloponnesian War, Bk. Ill, Ch. 37. 
ibid., Bk. V. Ch. 89 and 105. 



32 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

to a cat to be denied the pleasure of physical absorption into 
the belly of the Athenian she-cat. Substitute the Hindus today 
for the Melians and we have a Thucydidean picture of modern 
politics: 

Melians: It may be to your interest to be our masters, 
but how can it be ours to be your slaves ? 

Athenians: To you the gain will be that by submission 
you will avert the worst; and we shall be the richer for 
your preservation, 

Melians: But must we be your enemies? Will you not 
receive us as friends if we are neutral and remain at peace 
with you ? 

Athenian?: No, your enmity is not half as mischievous 
to us as your friendship; for the one is in the eyes of our 
subjects an argument of our power, the other of our weak- 
ness, 10 

After Winston Churchill had made a speech in the House 
of Commons on March 17, 1943 supporting Mr. Stanley, Sec- 
retary of State for Colonies, John Dugdale, Laborite, asked 
whether he was aware that Mr. Stanley's "somewhat truculent 
speech created misgivings both in the United States and the 
Dominions." The Prime Minister responded, "We must equally 
beware of truculence and of grovelling." 

That Thucydides could analyze the psychological motives 
of our modern statesmen so skillfully is merely evidence that 
ancient and modern men are essentially alike. Yielding and 
compromise would be construed as a sign of "weakness," even 
when Socrates chose to give himself thirty days to die. The 
seventy-year-old Socrates happened to believe in scttyagraha, and 
in the integrity of spiritual principles. His accuser, Anytus* 
stood for law and order and even for public morality. Anytus 
went to the temple to worship. Anytus, too, was a good man, 

10 Ibid., Bk. V. Ch. 92-95. 



CHURCHILL AND PERICLES 33 

and a God-fearing man, by all public records. There was 
another good man, Pontius Pilate, who once washed his hands 
of an important matter. Who ever said that Pontius Pilate was 
a bad man? He merely declined diplomatically to interfere 
in the private affairs of another nation, even though it in- 
volved the murder of an innocent man. There are in fact more 
historic analogies than we can stomach. 



CHURCHILL AND PERICLES 

READING history may be a costly effort. Thucydides in the 
Modern Library costs 95 cents, but the failure to read it prop- 
erly may be much more costly to the modern world. For today 
the issue of empire versus freedom is unsolved and ignored. 
Therefore the issue of India as a test case must be studied. 

The issue of India is more than the issue of India; it is the 
issue of freedom and what we intend to do with it. Because 
we will not even face the issue of empire versus freedom, we 
have come to the perfectly anomalous position which bothers 
anybody but an Englishman that in this war of freedom the 
Indian fighters for freedom are in jail for committing the 
crime of fighting for freedom. 

Freedom what magic in that word! Let Freedom ring! But 
Freedom must doff the sari and wear a European gown be- 
fore we can love her. There is the English freedom which we 
associate with cozy English cottages and beautiful lawns and 
the Lake District, and there is the Indian freedom riding on an 
elephant in the Indian jungle. Men's minds are limited and 
cannot see that she whom we love wears but a thin white mus- 
lin veil around her body, and wraps herself neither in a Union 



34 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

Jack nor in a loincloth. She dwells in the hearts of man and 
can be seen only with the eye of the mind. 

So the English are fighting to be free and at the same time 
fighting the Indians who are fighting to be free, and the 
Indians are fighting to be free in order to help the English 
fighting to be free in this war for freedom. This has become 
such a confounded mess that if the Englishman in India ever 
thinks, he ought to die of apoplexy. I have no fear that he will. 
One just does not discuss the Fotir Freedoms in India, nor 
hear them mentioned. It is a little awkward, isn't it? Win 
the war first and use your brains afterward. Only a robust 
English mind can survive these logical inconsistencies, and I 
have no doubt it will. You are sure of it when you hear the 
tone of satisfaction in the Viceroy of India's report on killings 
in India: 940 killed, 1,630 injured, 60,229 arrested, 26,000 con- 
victed, 18,000 detained without trial since August, 1942. As a 
correspondent in the New Republic puts it, "the Viceroy re- 
ports it like so many stuck hogs on line in a Chicago packing- 
house." Every one of those hogs is a fighter for freedom, and 
not afraid to be beaten, flogged, or sent to jail for it, A hog is 
a hog, or ain't it? 

I have recently acquired, undeservedly, a reputation for being 
"anti-English," at least among a few ladies in New York, be- 
cause I spoke for the freedom of India as if I meant it. What 
the connection between the two is, I have utterly failed to see, 
and my lady friends are not able to enlighten me. My position 
is quite clear: I am not anti-English; I am anti-idiots of any 
nationality, including my own. I am not just against Churchill's 
Tory policy toward India I detest it. That Churchill is Eng- 
lish I know, but to me that is entirely incidental; I should de- 
test that India policy whether its author were an Englishman, 
a Frenchman, a Jap, or a Chinese. I happen to be able to dis- 
tinguish English Tories and liberals, and I happen to like the 
Archbishop of Canterbury better than Winston Churchill. 

When two Englishmen hold opposite views, like the British 



CHURCHILL AND PERICLES 35 

Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury, American 
editors think it is their duty to agree with both of them, as a 
matter of social amenity, and make a present to them of the 
things men are fighting for. I would not make a present of the 
things men are fighting for to my best friend, or to my mother, 
or to God Himself. I yield when it is a question of local do- 
mestic politics, I yield when It is a question of the internal 
economy of a foreign nation. I will yield even when it is a 
question which to send first to China vital war supplies or 
Coca-Cola for the American pilots in China. But I will not 
yield when it is a question of freedom, because I mean it, and 
I believe in it, and I know that we have today no alternative 
but to choose between empire and freedom. Because Churchill 
is so unashamedly for the principle of empire, I am sure he 
was a bad student of Greek at school This does not matter; 
what really matters is that, by his domination of Allied war 
and peace aims, he is changing the character, the issues and the 
objectives of this war, in which Russian, Chinese, English and 
American boys have to pay with their lives. This is too im- 
portant a matter to be hushed up even among true friends of 
England. 

The fact is, no one has the right to make a present of the 
things men are fighting for to his best friend, or to his mother, 
or even to God. In every age and every period of history, after 
every war and every revolution, Liberty and Reaction go side 
by side together and struggle for supremacy for the moment 
It is every man's duty to use his intelligence and stand by 
Liberty and the revolutionists, and fight the Old Guards of 
Reaction without fear and without favor. Some American edi- 
tors wish to coddle both at the same time. But there stands the 
Old Guard, faithful unto death, taking an oath to preside over 
the nonliquidation of the British Empire. Despise not the Old 
Guard, American editors/There is much wisdom in his old 
head. Beware of the man who always finds God on his side. 
When the Old Guard announces that he "means to hold his 



36 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

own," including what belongs inalienably to the Indians, and 
the Chinese, Americans and Russians might just as well fight 
for the British Empire, are we to say, "Amen"? It would be 
perfectly satisfactory to me if this were a private war between 
Germany and England. Let whoever wins hold his own, while 
the subject nations are their pawns. If the subject nations do 
not like it, that is matter for consideration in another separate 
war between the "p awns " and their masters. But this is not a 
private war, and other peoples are involved. When the British 
Premier declares his intention to go on ruling the British pos- 
sessions, the Chinese at once think of Hong Kong, the Indians 
of India, the Dutch of Java, and the Americans of the Statue 
of Liberty. 

Prime Minister Winston Churchill, discussing the future 
of the British Empire in the House of Commons, said on 
March 17, 1943, "The government is convinced that the ad- 
ministration of British colonies must continue to be the sole 
responsibility of Great Britain." This clearly, definitely, and un- 
mistakably reveals that Churchill envisages the keeping of 
India, Burma, the Malay States, the Straits Settlements, Hong 
Kong, Ceylon, and other possessions. It also necessitates in fair- 
ness allowing other empires to keep theirs. The picture is, 
therefore, definitely the restoration of white empires in Asia. 
My view of Churchill as the Prince Metternich of the next 
Peace Conference is therefore correct. 

It is wrong to assume that Churchill forgets Asia; he never 
forgets Asia as a group of colonies. Perhaps what we are 
liquidating is not the British Empire but the whole imperialist 
system of a world half free and half slave. The question is 
whether or not we are fighting for certain principles to make a 
future war impossible and to make a juster and better world. 
But these are obnoxious questions all whether the liquidation 
of the British Empire, or of the Dutch Empire, or the French, 
or the Japanese Empire. Let's not talk about them. Win the 
war first. When the war is over, Prince Metternich will surely 



CHURCHILL AND PERICLES 37 

be there, and then the wrangle will begin. Then thirty or forty 
years later, we shall start all over again. 

History cannot be understood through the inconsequential 
issues of details that newspapers so busily discuss, after they 
have been censored. History can be understood only as seen in 
the minds of men who direct a nation's policy. While Indians 
claim that Sir Stafford Cripps in the early stages of the discus- 
sion promised them a National "Cabinet," and Cripps' fol- 
lowers just as hotly deny he ever promised them so much real 
power as a National "Cabinet," only fools will deceive them- 
selves that they have the real facts of the situation. Cripps 5 mis- 
sion can be properly understood only by studying the mind of 
the modern Pericles who initiated and directed the whole 
Cripps' mission. Anyone who reads the following statements 
of Winston Churchill regarding his basic attitude toward India, 
in 1930-1931, and still cannot understand why Cripps failed 
must be something of a moron. In order to understand the 
handling of India, we must understand our Pericles. In Janu- 
ary, 1930, Winston Churchill said, "Sooner or later you will 
have to crush Gandhi and the Indian Congress and all they 
stand for" which happens to be the principles of the Atlantic 
Charter as applied to India. During the Simon Commission 
and after, he was the loudest in protesting against negotiating 
with the Indian leaders as injuring the prestige of the Empire 
and its public servants. In March, 1931, he said, ". . . We are 
assigning exaggerated importance to individuals in India with 
whom we shall never be able to agree and are injuring the 
prestige and strength of the British Government in India for 
dealing with all these problems." In February, 1931, he said > 
"To transfer that responsibility to this highly artificial and re- 
stricted oligarchy of Indian politicians would be a retrograde 
act. It would be a shameful act. It would be an act of coward- 
ice, desertion and dishonor. It would bring upon Great Britain 
a moral shame which would challenge forever the reputation 
of the British Empire as a valiant and benignant force in 



38 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

the history of mankind." This is Kiplingesque, both Church- 
ill and Kipling having been press reporters of the Boer 
War and sharing the same opinion about "the lesser breeds 
without the law." Alas, in the sixteenth century, he might have 
been heroic; in the seventeenth and the eighteenth, he might 
have been competent; in the nineteenth, he might have been 
great; but in the twentieth, he is a Kiplingesque anachronism, 
His principles firm, his language clear, his purpose determined, 
he has explained not only the Cripps' mission but the entire 
India policy, present and future, in those words. Pericles could 
not have spoken with greater dignity while his Empire flour- 
ished, Cleon the leather merchant could not have been more 
patriotic, Eucrates the rope-seller could not have been more 
determined, and even Hyperbolus the lampmaker could not 
have babbled in sweeter notes to Athenian ears. I may be ex- 
cused if the lines of Matthew Arnold on "Dover Beach" come 
irresistibly to my mind : 

Sophocles long ago, 

Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought 

Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow 

Of human misery; we 

Find also in the sound a thought, 

Hearing it by this distant northern sea. 

The sea of faith 

Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore 

Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd. 

But now I only hear 

Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, 

Retreating, to the breath 

Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear 

And naked shingles of the world. 

And we are here as on a darkling plain 

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight 

Where ignorant armies clash by night. 



CHURCHILL AND PERICLES 39 

So we will not go into the issues of the India problem. Both 
the Hindus and the English have perfect arguments and, for- 
getting the central issue of human freedom, can confuse you 
with a mass of details. There is never a time when a person 
wants to do a thing and fails to find reasons for his action, or 
when a great nation decides upon an objective and fails to find 
the plausible procedure. Sometimes to enter into argument 
with a person is to pay him the compliment of believing in 
the worth of his arguments. 

I am sure that if the Indians were told that there are Prot- 
estants and Catholics and Jews in the United States, and New 
Dealers and anti-New Dealers and Republicans and Democrats 
and Communists and Socialists and Yankees and Southerners 
and Negroes and Baptists and Methodists and Seventh Day 
Adventists and Episcopalians and Mormons, and that Jews, 
Italians, Greeks, and Irish live on the same streets in Jersey 
City, and that there are probably two hundred and fifty Chris- 
tian sects in America, the Indians would despair of ever un- 
raveling the racial and religious complexities of the United 
States. Yet Hindus and Moslems live on the same streets in 
India and get along just as well as, if not better than, the 
Italians and the Irish in Brooklyn. What is more important, 
they are all united upon one thing, the freedom of their coun- 
try unless, it be two things, the freedom of their country and 
hatred of the English. The same would be true of the Croats 
and the Serbs and Jews and Catholics in Jugoslavia, which we 
did not hesitate to join together in one country when it suited 
our purpose. The fact is that if the Moslems did not exist, the 
English would have to invent them. Religion is the greatest 
godsend to the British Empire, and the English may well thank 
the gods for it. The British Empire and monotheism don't go 
together. Polytheism is more valuable than you think. 

But I will, and I must, go into the issue of India as the issue 
of freedom for all peoples. Wearing no monocle, and unable to 
agree with Lady Astor, I happen to think of the freedom of 



40 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

India exactly as I think of the freedom of Norway or Greece 
or Poland. I should be equally opposed to the extermination of 
freedom in Greece or Poland, either by Germany or by Russia, 
no matter what my sympathy for Russia and what my antipa- 
thy for Nazi Germany. 

Now this attitude happens to be very difficult to understand. 
Some Americans can make the convenient difference between 
freedom from England for the Thirteen Colonies and freedom 
from England for India. Words spoken by Tom Paine are re- 
garded as the Bible of Democracy; the same words spoken by 
Gandhi or Nehru are regarded as heresy and treason to our 
war effort. Not being an American, I cannot see the difference. 
To me, George Washington was as "anti-British" as Gandhi or 
NehrUj and just as stubborn* A binocular vision is an incon- 
venient thing. I know that Churchill is tremendously popular 
in New York, and I could have been a little smooth and ap- 
plauded the hero I admired during Dunkirk. But I prefer to 
stick to my binoculars or to my two naked eyes. 

I am dense enough not to be able to see the difference be- 
tween the Indians fighting for their freedom and the French 
underground organization fighting for theirs. The Government 
of India has published a White Paper showing that the Con- 
gress leaders are guilty of actions or speeches leading to popular 
uprisings and sabotage. Two East India trunk railways were 
sabotaged, it is stated. If the Paris-Lille and Paris-Lyons Rail- 
ways had been sabotaged, how the American press would have 
hailed those brave fighters for freedom and liberators of man- 
kind! What tribute to the human spirit, evidence that it can 
never be conquered by physical force! Two trunk railways 
have been sabotaged in India and I agree this is highly regret- 
table because it hampers our war effort. But what would you 
have the Indians do? 

For two and a half years after England had declared war on 
behalf of India without first consulting the Indians them- 
selves, the Congress leaders held off, while the English would 



CHURCHILL AND PERICLES 41 

do nothing to improve the situation. Frantic appeals for free- 
dom and the immediate proximity of the Japanese in Burma 
precipitated the Cripps' mission. The Indians wanted real power 
in the defense of their country; the British Government would 
not give it to them. The only solid accomplishment of the 
Cripps' mission was that the idea of "Pakistan" received Eng- 
lish official blessing and laid the basis for future dissensions in 
India. Appeals for reopening negotiations after the Cripps 5 mis- 
sion were vain. The war over India was fought in America; 
the English had won here and were satisfied. The Congress 
and Indian popular opinion were getting restive. Indian bitter- 
ness mounted and Indian morale deteriorated. The English 
rulers were still silent. What would you have the Indians do? 
Address more prayers to stones ? 

After every effort to reopen negotiations had failed, Gandhi 
gave advance notice to the Viceroy of India about the civil dis- 
obedience campaign to be started. The English would not be 
intimidated. Gandhi begged the Viceroy for a chance to see 
him/The Viceroy with true viceregal dignity refused. The 
Congress leaders were put in jail, illegally, according to Eng- 
lish judges. The unarmed "rebellion" was quelled. The sit- 
uation was "well in hand." The American press expressed the 
opinion that after this success of force, the English would be 
"magnanimous in victory," and some effort at reopening nego- 
tiations might be made. The English were still very "firm." 

After waiting exactly six months, Gandhi announced his 
intention to fast, as a protest against a moral wrong, not a per- 
sonal wrong committed against himself, but a moral wrong 
against his nation. He knew he was addressing a prayer to 
stones, but he could not do otherwise. Acquit him or condemn 
him, Gandhi would not alter his ways. Gandhi was stubborn 
and the Viceroy was still adamant. Gandhi was in imminent 
danger of death, and the last blow was about to be struck 
against all hopes of future co-operation between England and 
India. The Government of India published a seventy-six-page 



42 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

WHte Paper, showing that the Congress was guilty of acts and 
thoughts leading to violence. It is the duty of the Government 
of India, we are told, to maintain peace and order, and the 
Congress leaders are disturbing it. "Anyway, we are getting as 
much from India by force as we could by any other method* 
Meanwhile, the situation is well in hand. And we are fighting 
for liberty." 

The whole question of the correctness of the Karma doctrine 
depends on whether one believes the ripples of action stop 
there, like a closed chapter, or go on to join forces with other 
new ripples. 

If what the British Government had wanted was a show of 
strength to uphold the Empire's prestige against a helpless sub- 
ject nation, it got it. But if the British Government set out to 
regain the love of the Indian people and have better co-opera- 
tion in the future, then they have lost their chance forever. 
Repression by force of rebellion, armed or unarmed, could be 
understood and even excused. But after the English demon- 
strated their superior physical force, and satisfied themselves 
and the world that they were still the master, the Congress 
leaders were still denied the opportunity of coming together 
with non-Congress leaders to work out a political solution, after 
an explicit request by the Indian leaders then out of jail (Oc- 
tober, 1942). I cannot excuse this stupid English policy. The 
plea that "the Indians themselves would not come together" 
makes no sense to me. Separate detention cells are hardly the 
ideal situation for exchange of ideas, even among the Indian 
Yogi. And Gandhi is not a Yogi. "Thoughts that burst prison 
walls" is a fine literary flourish, but is not for mortal men like 
Rajagopalacharia or Sapru or Nehru. 

The whole English policy makes sense to me only on the 
supposition, which is real, that what the Asiatics think or feel 
about it does not matter so long as the "Allies" have superior 
weapons. In fact, the whole conduct of the war in 1942 was psy- 
chologically determined by the one habit of thinking that what 



CHURCHILL AND PERICLES 43 

the Indians, the Chinese, and the Russians feel does not mat- 
ter. Why? Because England and the United States are going 
to have an overwhelming air force. 

The handling of the problem of India is merely a symptom 
of the failure to recognize the issue of freedom versus empire, 
of general spiritual unpreparedness and the belief that re- 
sentment, fear, and hatred do not matter so long as "the situa- 
tion is well in hand," which simply means that rioters caa be 
quelled by riot squads and which is exactly Hitler's way of 
thinking. We may be quite sure that after the war, the "situa- 
tion" will heaven better in hand, while the reasons for denying 
India freedom will remain just as valid. If the East and the 
West differ in political philosophy, it is usually in this: we 
disagree on the usefulness of temporary success achieved by 
arms. The Asiatic takes the more subtle view that in the long 
run good will or bad blood does count, that force is futile, and 
that there can be no peace until there is peace in the human 
heart (justice). 

Today in this war, there is only one issue Empire versus 
freedom. Two world leaders stand at the opposite poles: 
Chiang Kai-shek, for whom "patriotism is not enough," and 
Winston Churchill, for whom it is. Every thinking man must 
choose between the two. The measures and standards of Euro- 
pean power politics and Asiatic ethical tradition do not meet 
Mencius sharply defined them 2,200 years ago. "In a world of 
moral order, the great characters rule the small characters, and 
the great minds rule the small minds. In a world of moral 
chaos, the (physically) great rule the small, and the strong 
rule the weak. The (first) two are (the principles of) heaven. 
Those who obey Heaven shall survive, and those who disobey 
Heaven shall perish." 

The issue of empire versus freedom is dividing us. While 
the war is on, we should hold the issues in abeyance to the 
extent of not letting them deter our common war efforts, even 
though our very strategy in Asia is determined by what we 



44 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

desire to see in Asia after the war. But it is the duty of every 
writer and thinker about contemporary trends to inform the 
public, to caution it if necessary, and in no case to falsify the 
picture of events. The seeds of disunity are already there, and 
since we cannot blink them away, we might as well point out 
their presence and forestall future dissensions before they be- 
come too advanced for remedy. If the war does not break us, 
the peace may. For it is absolutely certain that there will be no 
peace without collective security, and no collective security 
without American collaboration in the postwar world; but 
America's collaboration or isolation will depend only on one 
thing, the character of the coming peace. Sir Norman Angell 
goes about preaching about collective security and against 
American isolationism. But Sir Norman Angell has not the wit 
to see that all his preachings may be rendered vain by a peace 
treaty that provokes American revulsion. For more important 
than preaching about the importance of American collabora- 
tion is the securing of a peace that is worth American collabo- 
ration. Americans do not have to be preached to. Psycholog- 
ically, present-day Americans are more ready to renounce 
isolationism than certain Europeans are ready to renounce the 
politics of power and imperialism. Both must be renounced at 
the same time; otherwise Europe is merely asking American 
collaboration in European imperialism. 

I warn that American collaboration must ultimately depend 
on a just peace that the American people can approve, and that, 
however we may wish otherwise, an imperialistic peace will be 
followed by America's revulsion and reversion to isolation. Sir 
Norman Angell forgets how American isolationism arose as a 
matter of historical fact. It arose out of revulsion against the 
Versailles Treaty and out of a sad disillusion that the "war to 
end all wars" had turned out to be a war for spoils. If a'nother 
Versailles comes, the American nation will feel such a revul- 
sion against being the victim of wily European politics^ that 
they will withdraw in disillusionment and disgust again. Re- 



CHURCHILL AND PERICLES 45 

vulsion against and disgust with the crushing of ideals after the 
stupendous sacrifices are human, and the American nation 
cannot be asked to be inhuman. For if American collaboration 
and American participation in the World Police are wanted, 
they are wanted to defend the world order laid down by the 
coming peace treaty, and the American people must be con- 
vinced that that world order is worth defending. In a hypothet- 
ical case where that world order consists of the restoration of 
Asiatic colonies of the European powers, the function of the 
World Police will be to maintain by force that system of colo- 
nies, with American money and lives pledged to its main- 
tenance. But America, like: China, happens to be in a curious 
position; it has not got a single colony. Take away from the 
Americans certain principles of justice, and they will have 
nothing to fight for or worth fighting for. 

I believe the principles of the Atlantic Charter are an ade- 
quate and dependable basis for a durable peace, even as Presi- 
dent Wilson's Fourteen Points, if not sacrificed and scrapped 
at the time of peace negotiations, would have been an adequate 
and dependable basis for peace. Yet these very principles are 
already branded by one of the Charter's initiators as "fairy 
tales" and the discussion of their application at present is al- 
ready regarded as "dangerous." 

America's stand is clear. The cause in this war is the freedom 
of all peoples and all nations of the earth. The Atlantic Charter 
is meant to apply to all peoples "everywhere." The American 
people are with President Roosevelt. America's stand is clear. 
The flag of freedom has not been pulled halfway down. 

Yet there is unfinished business between the two friends 
who drafted and signed the Atlantic Charter. Over a year has 
elapsed since President Roosevelt defined its scope and Win- 
ston Churchill will not say with Roosevelt that the Atlantic 
Charter applies to "all peoples everywhere." He has refused to 
define its scope or give assurance that the American interpre- 
tation is right. He refused its application to India by saying 



4 6 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

that the provisions of the Charter did not "qualify in any way 
the various statements of policy which have been made from 
time to time about the development of constitutional govern- 
ment in India, Burma, or other parts of the British Empire." 
In other words, the noble principles of the Atlantic Charter 
were for everybody to practice except the rulers of the British 
Empire. Note that his own "various statements" on the subject 
were, in December, 1931, "I did not contemplate India having 
the same constitutional rights and system as Canada in any 
period which we can foresee 9 '; and in January, 1931, "No one 
has supposed that except in a purely ceremonial sense in the 
way in which representatives of India attended the conferences 
during the war, that principle and policy for India would be 
carried into effect in any time which it is reasonable or useful 
for us to foresee!' 

But that was back in 1931. The Atlantic Charter was signed 
in the summer of 1941. America had not yet entered the war 
then. There was an advantage in leaving it undefined, for if 
Churchill had defined it then as he has now, America might 
never have entered a war for empire. But the Allies have had 
successes ia 1942 and 1943, the prospects of victory are visible, 
England is growing confident and strong, and America has 
already irrevocably committed herself to the war. What he had 
left undefined he has now defined to a nicety. When, on March 
17, 1943, J. McGovern, Laborite, asked whether the Churchill 
statement on the British Empire meant that "Britain does not 
intend to give up its occupied territories at the end of the war, 
as well as Germany," Churchill retorted, "That would be a very 
insulting parallel to draw." (Associated Press, according to the 
New Yor% Herald Tribune, March 18, 1943). Lest he should 
be misunderstood as construing the Atlantic Charter to mean 
liberation of countries subjected by England as well as those 
subjected by Germany, he took special care to let the world 
know exactly what he meant through Brendan Bracken. If 
anyone "is going to make the catastrophic error of destroying 



CHURCHILL AND PERICLES 47 

or handing over our goodly heritage I think there is enough 
toughness in the fibre of the empire to resist such a sugges- 
tion. . . * We must fight for our rights," he declared to 
Bracken. "Having been a foundation member of the United 
Nations, we are not going to tell our people they can be pushed 
around by any other nation in the world. It is the duty of the 
United Nations to remain united." 

It is common sense to say that, even as the date for the inde- 
pendence of the Philippines has convinced the Filipinos of 
America's sincerity, so a date set for India's independence 
would convince the Indians of England's sincerity. Why then 
has the date not been set, and who opposed it? We read in 
John T. Whitaker's We Cannot Escape History the illuminat- 
ing account. "A group in the cabinet decided to flush his 
[Churchill's] hand and force immediate action. As one of the 
men in that session later expressed it, 'Mr. Amery had finished 
his suggestion that we should promise India dominion status 
at a fixed period after the defeat of Hitler. Other members of 
the government were prepared to support his initiative. Before 
they could speak, Mr. Churchill let out a roar like a wounded 
lion. The room was cleared as swiftly as if there had been a 
lion among us in very truth. As yet the subject has not been 
raised again.' " (p. 243) 

That is why we are confused. The issue of empire versus 
freedom cannot and may not be evaded, though Churchill took 
care to talk of "winning the war first" and evade it as best he 
could before the tide turned. He knows at least what he stands 
for, and says so, and President Roosevelt does not know what 
to do, or whether it would be the wise thing to contradict him 
now. So long as Roosevelt keeps silent on the issue of freedom 
versus empire and avoids a verbal tilt with his friend, the world 
must remain confused about our war aims. Know the Old 
Guard, and forget that he wears a bowler; in other times and 
in Austria, he might have worn a mustache. Forget that he is 
English, or that, as the New Yor^ Times described him ("Re- 



48 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

view of the Week," March 28, 1943), he has been "for the past 
two decades a Tory of Tories," or as Harold Callender said in 
the same issue, that he is "a sincere imperialist of the romantic 
Kipling era." The age has no use for imperialists of the ro- 
mantic Kipling era, nor for Prince Metternichs. 

That is why we are today already in confusion about the 
applicability of the Atlantic Charter, which raises issues re- 
garded by British Prime Minister Churchill as "dangerous" to 
discuss now, according to the New Yorl( Times editorial of 
April 4, 1943- 

Yet the issues have been raised [according to the same 
editorial], and out of the debate are emerging two broad 
concepts for an international organization for the future. 
One, based on a strict interpretation of the Atlantic Char- 
ter, envisages a world in which large and small nations 
will live side by side on terms of equality and cooperate 
politically and economically through some kind of world 
organization for purposes of collective security and mutual 
welfare. The other, more European-bound, envisages a 
Europe under the joint guardianship of Russia and Great 
Britain, with the smaller nations leaning on the one or the 
other of these two powers according to proximity. * . . 
The first concept may be Utopian, but it is the American 
idea expressed in global terms. It is on this idea that Amer- 
ica deals with local authorities as it finds them, and still 
recognizes the integrity of the small Baltic states on Rus- 
sia's frontier. The second concept is not Utopian, but re- 
alistically based on a balance of power and power politics. 

The same editorial concludes with the profound remarks: 

Here we face a situation in which two considerations 
are implicit. On the nature of the postwar settlements will 
depend in large degree America's final attitude toward in- 



CHURCHILL AND PERICLES 49 

ternationd cooperation. At the same time, evidence or lack 
of evidence which we show now of our willingness to play 
an active part in world affairs, when the fighting ends, 
will be the most Important single factor in shaping the 
character of the postwar treaties. 

To be forewarned is to be forearmed. If American collabora- 
tion is wanted both during and after the war, there is a price 
for it, and that price may not be less than freedom of mankind 
and the principles of equality and justice. My observation is that 
the American nation is perfectly willing to pay the colossal 
price of world collaboration during and after the war if it can 
be convinced that it is worth the price. It is in this sense that in- 
dications of reversion to a spoils system of the Versailles pat- 
tern frighten me. There will be no collective security if some 
one nation wants only to collect and fails to recollect. It is in 
this sense that my heart sank within me when I read in the 
March, 1943, issue of Britain, the following statement by Sir 
Edward Grigg, condensed from his article in the London Sun~ 
day Times: 

Both the British and the American Governments have 
declared to France that her empire will be restored in its 
entirety, and to Spain and Portugal that no part of their 
empires will be taken from them. We must assume that 
similar assurance, if required, would be given to the two 
colonial powers which are members of the United Nations 
Holland and Belgium. Is it, then, the British Colonial 
Empire only which is to go into liquidation? 

Sir Edward Grigg was Governor of Kenya and has held 
other high offices in the British Government. Secret treaties 
like those preceding Versailles are already beginning. The char- 
acter of the war is becoming clearer every day. Old dogs can- 
not learn new tricks and never will This generation of political 



50 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

minds cannot learn to fight a new war and devise a new peace. 
That was how the Fourteen Points of Wilson were sacrificed, 
and that is how the principles of the Atlantic Charter are 
already placed in doubt and will be sacrificed later. 

The Allies cannot win a common war with divided minds. 
Sooner or later, every man and woman must think and decide 
for himself or herself whether we are fighting for freedom or 
for empire, for between the two there is no compromise and 
besides the two there is no third alternative. We must choose 
between Roosevelt and Churchill, for we may not choose both. 
They are only two ideas. 



6 

WORLD WAR III 

WHILE we consider binding up the economic sores of the 
postwar international society, we are not even beginning to 
scratch the surface of the moral malignant tumor that is called 
twentieth<entury culture. The region of the tumor being sen- 
sitive, our statesmen and publicists are too scared to touch its 
surface. That is why our governments have consistently fol- 
lowed the policy of "win the war first'* For the time being, the 
win-the-war-first boys are having their way. The roots of all 
war balance of power, domination by power, trade, and racial 
discrimination are all there; not a single factor is lacking. All 
the lessons we could have taken from the Greek world are 
being ignored; all the sources of possible conflict, so plain now 
to the student of history, seem not to exist for the average 
planner of peace for the postwar world. The house built on 
sand by our learned architects will one day collapse. 

For I have said that it is too late now to strangle Russia and 
China. England, America, Russia, and China will unquestion* 



WORLD WAR III 51 

ably be the powers that will determine the movements of his- 
tory in the next half-century. According to the English, who 
are talking of giving India freedom after the war, there will 
be also the good will or hostility of another 400,000,000 people 
in Asia to reckon with. On the present pattern of Anglo- 
American domination of the war, which means definitely 
Anglo-American domination of the peace, we are clearly going 
back to the centuries-old European theory of balance of power. 
(We may, for purposes of the discussion, call the Anglo-Ameri- 
can pattern of domination the "A-A" pattern.) The A-A pat- 
tern will devise "checks and balances" so that the A-A world 
and the non-A-A world will live in a kind of armed friendship 
and hostile cordiality. Diff erent grades and formulas of "world- 
co-operation" or "world police force" will be put forth and ora- 
tors will speak about the new era of good will and co-operation. 
Since power, however, is by definition something dynamic and 
not static, there is no such thing as an actual* "balance of 
power," Some powers grow and others weaken during a pe- 
riod; some alliances deteriorate, new ones are formed. Then 
the balance is upset once more and the nations of the world 
are plunged once more into bloodshed until a new "balance" 
is devised by a new generation of peace architects using the 
old squares and compasses. The balance of power theory has 
kept Europe in periodic bloodshed every thirty or forty years 
for the last few centuries. The transference of the tactics of 
power politics to the world as a whole can only mean the trans- 
formation of this earth into a periodic arena. Power politics 
and the balance of power always set up a state of tension 
among the states, very similar to walking on a tight rope. This 
state produces a condition of mutual fears and suspicions, and 
as some of the states grow in power, the fears and suspicions 
grow. For ten years preceding World War I and World War 
II, one could see this mounting tension and fear and insecurity, 
until someone decided it was time to strike first. The same state 



52 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

of fears and antagonisms will inevitably produce the same re- 
sult The pattern is unchangeable. 

Thus World War III will come. The ferocity of future wars 
will not deter us, the magnitude of sacrifice will not daunt us, 
nor will the cries of mothers and wives keep us from the path 
of duty, for young men of another generation, without the 
experience of this war, will go forth to save civilization and 
die for six, seven, or perhaps eight freedoms. But the blood that 
will be shed all over the globe will make our present sacrifices 
look like grandmothers' nightmares. Nature is a spendthrift in 
birth and in slaughter. If men are ready for a big-scale fratri- 
cide, God is ready, too. In half a million years, God can create 
a bigger, better, and more reasonable species of beings. Nor 
will those who believe in power politics have the right to com- 
plain. Since power politicians defend their course of action on 
naturalism or the natural "struggle for power," they must also 
be ready to accept its consequences. If they pride themselves on 
their "realism" about politics and war, they must also be "real- 
istic" about the consequences of war. 

Nor can we be scared now by the appearance of comets and 
strange stars. Gabriel will not descend on the earthly plains and 
speak to the sons of men. Harmless miracles of changing water 
into wine will not stand our scientific scrutiny. A Jonah spat 
out from a whale will not deceive us, but after careful ques- 
tioning by reporters will be confined to an insane asylum. 
William James's voice will not come from the dead to assure 
us of a future life. The heavens will not rain fire and brim- 
stone, and there will be neither a pillar of a cloud to lead us by 
day, nor a pillar of fire to light us by night. Neither praying, 
nor fasting, nor the singing of psalms, nor the burning of 
candles will avail. For us, at least, it will be a God-empty world. 
There will be just nothing to do about it. 

No diplomat of course will talk of anything but good will 
and the friendship of nations, and no diplomat will be fool 
enough to act on these protestations. All forms of mandates, 



WORLD WAR III 53 

tariff problems, and police zones and international air bases 
will be discussed and in time worked out. They may even 
write a Fifty Years' Peace, which will be worth as much as the 
Fifty Years' Peace of Nicias. All the peace delegates will be 
good meiL, too, for they will be men who go to church; they 
will be men of culture and learning and experience, good 
fathers, good husbands, and good patriots all. But they will 
build a house on sand. 

Since the A-A school of thought is a very real, very potent, 
and very influential one at present, the consequences of such a 
policy of armed friendship against the non-English-speaking 
world are fairly predictable. How well the A-A group can 
divide the non-A-A group will depend largely upon the as- 
tuteness of their statesmanship. China is pledged to A-A co- 
operation in her foreign policy at present. How well that armed 
friendship will materialize will depend on how successfully 
the United States and England will drive China into the lap 
of Russia. This, in turn, depends on China's judgment as to 
what kind of allies will be more dependable and sincere in 
the next war, and this again depends on her experiences with 
her allies in the present war and the ensuing peace settlement. 
China's position is decidedly anomalous, with regard to racial 
and imperialist groupings though not with regard to ideology. 
Being herself a nonindustrialized and therefore nonimperiaHst 
nation, the possibility of her reaching a basis of equal partner- 
ship with imperialist nations has never been proved or studied 
carefully. But certain it is that she will not stand for social 
"snubbing" for long, and she may give up trying to "keep up 
with the Joneses" and look about for more heavily pigmented 
allies and friends. Such a contingency would be indeed tragic 
for the whole world, particularly with the background of In- 
dian hostility against the English being fanned into a living 
flame right now. Again, we shall not escape history. 

It should be noted also that long before such a conflict comes 
to pass, the antagonism of rising forces will be the logical 



54 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

situation for the resurgence of Japan and Germany. Both sides 
will secretly bid for their support and encourage them to re- 
arm, as we did so successfully in the 1930-1940 decade. In other 
words, in spite of all our sacrifices during this war, we shall 
start all over again. That men should die is hard enough for 
the mothers of men; that they should die in vain is heart- 
breaking. 

I may be wrong in prognostications of particular trends and 
phases of development. But some such thinking and heart- 
searching along historic lines on the subject of growth, balance, 
and unbalancing of power are needed. The adequacy of power 
politics as a principle must be called into question; the de- 
pendability of the cardinal principle of balance of power in 
building a stable peace must be debated, talked about, and chal- 
lenged. Only so can there be depth in our reasoning. The 
changes in our way of thinking must be basic if we are to be 
saved. 

There is a pattern of things invisible, of karmatic currents in 
human history, that can be seen only with the eyes of the 
mind. Sometimes it is given to poets to foretell the future, not 
by astrology, but by acquaintance with the laws of the spirit. 
To such extraordinary tninds, these laws become so vivid that 
they assume the character of a "vision." Heinrich Heine was 
such a poet with such an uncanny vision. From an. intimate 
and intuitive knowledge of the German mind, he could proph- 
esy the "German Revolution" and the character of the present- 
day Nazi spirit with a frightening accuracy, and from a 
knowledge of the forces developing in European thought, he 
could prophesy the "European or World Revolution" and pre- 
dict with striking clairvoyant power certain phases unrolling 
before our eyes today. Speaking of the German thunder, com- 
ing slowly but surely, he said: 

Then, when you hear the rumble and clatter beware, 
Frenchmen, you neighbors' children. . . . Don't smile at 



WORLD WAR III 55 

my advice, the advice of a dreamer who warns you of 
Kantians, Fichteans, and natural .philosophers. Don't smile 
at the visionary who expects the same revolution in the 
material world which has taken place in the realm of the 
spirit. 

Writing in 1834, in Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 
Heine spoke of the breaking of the brittle talisman, the Chris- 
tian Cross, and the resurgence of the gods of the German for- 
ests and warned that we should hear a "crash as nothing ever 
crashed in world history." 

The German revolution will not be milder and gentler 
because it was preceded by Kant's Critique, by Fichte's 
transcendental idealism, and even by the philosophy of 
nature. . . . For if the Kantian's hand strikes strongly be- 
cause his heart is moved by no traditional respect if the 
Fichtean courageously defies all danger because for him it 
does not really exist the philosopher of nature will be 
fearful because he can join the primeval forces of nature, 
because he can call up the demoniac energies of ancient 
Germanic pantheism, and because then there will awake 
in him that fighting folly that we find among the ancient 
Germans, that fights neither to kill nor to conquer, but 
simply to fight. Christianity has and that is its fairest 
merit somewhat mitigated that brutal German lust for 
battle. But it could not destroy it; and once the taming 
talisman, the Cross, is broken, die savagery of the old bat- 
tlers will flare up again, the insane rage of which Nordic 
bards have so much to say and sing. That talisman is 
brittle. The day will come when it will pitiably collapse. 
Then the old stone gods will rise from forgotten rubble 
and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes; and 
Thor will leap up and with his giant hammer start smash- 
ing Gothic cathedrals. ... 



5 6 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

. . . and when you hear a crash as nothing ever crashed 
in world history, you'll know that the German thunder 
has hit the mark. At that sound the eagles will fall dead 
from the sky and the lions in the farthest desert of Africa 
will pull in their tails and slink away into their royal caves. 
A play will be performed that will make the French Revo- 
lution seem like a harmless idyll in comparison. . . . 

Beware! I wish you well; that is why I tell you the bit- 
ter truth. You have more to fear from a liberated Germany 
than from the whole Holy Alliance with all its Croats 
and Cossacks . * . n 

One hundred and one years ago, in 1842, he prophesied the 
"World Revolution/' a drama of which we have seen the be- 
ginning and he could not tell the end. He, the friend of Karl 
Marx, saw the character of revolutionary thought, but he also, 
with his poet's vision^ foresaw the course of the present war 
and the fate of Germany, France, England, and Russia in this 
war all too clearly: 

Communism is the secret name of the dread antagonist 
setting proletarian rule with all its consequences against 
the present bourgeois regime. It will be a frightful duel. 
How will it end? No one knows but gods and goddesses 
acquainted with the future. We only know this much: 
Communism, though little discussed now and loitering in 
hidden garrets on miserable straw pallets, is the dark hero 
destined for a great, if temporary, role in the modern 
tragedy. . . . 

It would be war, the ghastliest war of destruction 
which would unfortunately call the two noblest nations of 
civilization into the arena, to the ruin of both: France and 
Germany. England, the great sea serpent always able to 
crawl back into its vast watery lair, and Russia, which also 



Heine: Worfy of Prose, cd. by Hermann Kcsten, pp. 5 J -53- 



WORLD WAR III 57 

has the safest hiding places in its vast fir forests, steppes 
and icy wastes those two, in a normal political war, 
cannot be annihilated even by the most crushing defeats* 
But Germany is far more menaced in such cases, and 
France in particular could lose her political existence in 
the most pitiful manner. 

That, however, would only be the first act of the great 
melodrama, the prologue, as it were. The second act is the 
European and the World Revolution, the great duel be- 
tween the destitute and the aristocracy of wealth; and in 
that there will be no mention of either nationality or re- 
ligion: there will be only one fatherland, the globe, and 
only one faith, that in happiness on earth. Will the reli- 
gious doctrines of the past rise in all countries, in desperate 
resistance and will perhaps this attempt constitute the 
third act? Will the old absolutist tradition reenter the 
stage, though in a new costume and with new cues and 
slogans ? How could that drama end ? 

I do not know; but I think that eventually the great sea 
serpent will have its head crushed, and the skin of the 
Northern bear will be pulled over his ears. There may be 
only one flock then and one shepherd one free shepherd 
with an iron staff, and a shorn-alike, bleating-alike human 
herd! 

Wild, gloomy times are roaring toward us, and a prophet 
wishing to write a new apocalypse would have to invent 
entirely new beasts beasts so terrible that St. John's older 
animal symbols would be like gentle doves and cupids in 
comparison. The gods are veiling their faces in pity on the 
children of man, their long-time charges, and perhaps over 
their own fate. The future smells of Russian leather, blood, 
godlessness, and many whippings. I should advise our 
grandchildren to be born with very thick skins on their 
backs/' 12 



*Ibid. f pp. 136-138. 



58 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

Only to poets are the shapes of things to come so clear. He 
knew the German spirit through and through, and he knew 
the progress of the human spirit in Europe through and 
through. Alas, that he had lived also through an age of revo- 
lution and disillusionment, of the revolutions and Prince Met- 
ternich! That was why he cried, "Beware! I wish you well; 
that is why I tell you the bitter truth." Because he saw the 
"revolution in the realm of the spirit," he could also foretell the 
"same revolution in the material world." 

We might yet try to see the further revolution in the realm 
of the spirit in the century after Heine, with far clearer indi- 
cations of the direction in which it has been developing. We, 
too, might try to understand the character of the age we are 
living in, and grapple with the problem of moral decay and 
regeneration, although there is little evidence of regeneration 
and a great deal of decay. We, too, might be able to predict a 
disaster, but, once freed from the shackles of determinism, the 
wisest prophet would be the one who refused to predict. 



II. THE METHOD 



THE "WHITE MAN'S BURDEN" 

THESE are indeed times that try men's souls. Effective plan- 
ning of peace without a philosophy of peace is impossible. A 
revolution in thinking and in the method of thinking, of 
political events in particular and of human affairs in general, 
must be brought about before a revolution in world politics 
is possible. The standards of morality, particularly of inter- 
national morality, in this decade are notoriously at a low ebb. 



THE "WHITE MAN'S BURDEN" 59 

Compared with the French encyclopedists of the eighteenth 
century, we are unworthy progeny of our ancestors of that 
period of "Enlightenment." For fully equipped as we are with 
a philosophy of war, the psychology of war, the politics of 
war, and the implements of war, how can we escape war? The 
most important question now is: after all the bloodshed and 
sacrifice, shall we let it start all over again? 

Ultimately, the problems of peace and war are determined 
by the character of the effective faiths of an age. The problems 
of peace are problems of man and the nature of man. I believe 
they are strictly philosophical problems, problems of the things 
that men believe in and live by. As I shall show later, it is 
ultimately a problem of determinism versus free will, of deter- 
minism of brute force and spiritual faith. Peace on earth is an 
act of faith, and without faith we shall not be saved. It happens 
that we are a generation without faith. 

What we need above all is a theory of the rhythm of life and 
of the unity and interrelatedness of all things. Without that 
faith, the doctrine of force cannot be destroyed. The dichotomy 
between ideals and action must be resolved, and an all-inclu- 
sive, comprehensive philosophy must be produced whereby 
ideals may be brought down from the clouds again to activate 
the affairs of men on earth. High-flown idealism and pedestrian 
realism must be joined together, so that idealists are no longer 
regarded by businessmen as impractical and "realism" is BO 
longer an excuse for dispensing with ideals in men's plans for 
action. The rhythm of life and the unity and interrelatedness 
of all things must be shown and shown conclusively, so that 
they become a part of our faith for daily action. 

This will come about in the form of a spiritual softening of 
western philosophy, mental mellowness and moral maturity, 
a ripening of the sparkling wine of western intellect. There 
will be an inevitable maturing of the mind of this hard-hitting, 
competing, caustic, corrosive age, where the hardness of steel 
has entered into men's hearts and the iron of hate has corroded 



60 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

men's souls. In this Steel Age, it is not only that men's ships 
are made of steel plates; men's minds are also shaped thereby, 
"Nature is soft," says Laotse, but men's minds are hard. The 
human heart is one of the most changeful, elastic, flexible or- 
gans in nature; that is why it must not be tampered with. 

Be careful [says Laotse] not to interfere with the natural 
goodness of the heart of man. Man's heart may be forced 
down or stirred up. In each case the issue is fatal. By gen- 
tleness, the hardest heart may be softened. But try to cut 
and polish it, and it will glow like fire or freeze like ice. 
In the twinkling of an eye it will pass beyond the limits 
of the Four Seas. In repose, it is profoundly still; in mo- 
tion, it flies up to the sky. Like an unruly horse, it cannot 
be held in check. Such is the human heart. 

I have every reason to believe that the human heart is a runa- 
way horse now. 

What surprises me most in western thought is the almost 
complete absence of a philosophy of peace, by which I mean 
of peace, not merely as a hope in some Utopian future, but 
peace as a normal condition of living in the present, as applied 
to the home, the nation, and the world. For instance, the tech- 
nique of peaceful living, o domestic peace, national peace, and 
world peace, is hardly ever developed. Western social thought 
is either economics or political science. To me it is less satisfy- 
ing than eating a juicy apple. 

The technique of peace in the social and political sciences 
is either the equal distribution of goods, the balance of pro- 
duction and consumption and of import and export, or checks 
and balances, or the regalia of courts of justice and the rights 
and obligations arising out of scraps of paper, sworn to and no- 
tarized according to the due process of law. Society is con- 
ceived as an agglomeration of heterogeneous and conflicting 
interests brought to live at peace with one another by the 



THE "WHITE MAN'S BURDEN" 61 

mechanism of law courts which operate to eliminate excesses 
of liberty; in more liberal quarters, this concept is softened and 
extended to include moral restraint, or the restraint of the un- 
written law and public sentiment, with which Confucianism 
entirely agrees. In general, however, the western view of society 
and politics is legalistic and mathematical, like the point ra- 
tion coupons. Apart from the generous motivating forces of 
religion, the legal concept of a man living within the law is 
hardly a flattering theory of human life, in which the bachelor 
banker becomes the ideal citizen because as a banker he suc- 
cessfully dodges the taxes and as a bachelor he successfully 
dodges the women. 

But even more than legalistic, the western view of the na- 
ture, function, and aim of human life is almost 95 per cent eco- 
nomic. It has gradually changed throughout the nineteenth and 
the twentieth centuries through the steady increase of inventions, 
so much that human progress itself has been already identified 
with rising standards of living. It is almost the whole of what 
we are talking, writing, and dreaming about. 

From my college days, I have heard of the "white man's 
burden" and have often wondered what is inside that knapsack 
which the white man carries on his back around the globe. I 
have now discovered that it is only canned goods. Poor Kipling, 
he would not have remained alive and returned to be Lord 
Rector of St. Andrews if he were deprived during his stay in 
India of his store of corned beef and sardines. Still you cannot 
deny that he successfully converted corned beef and sardines 
into some good rousing verse, breathing pluck and faith in a so 
very enlightened scheme of shipping that made corned beef 
obtainable in far away Allahabad and Lahore. 

The charge of "materialism" is no mere clicht. Materialism 
is the very stuff and fiber of modern thinking, which domi- 
nates all postwar planning and makes a philosophy of peace 
impossible. Is it not true that almost all our proposals for die 
future peace stem from the one assumption that the cure for 



62 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

the ills of economic progress is more economic progress? Are 
we not thinking of peace merely in terms of a free exchange 
of trade, free flow of material, and "prosperity"? In other 
words, peace is canned goods, bigger and better canned goods. 
Peace is a condition where we may sell and sell abundantly. 
"Heaven" itself is a concrete, fire-proof warehouse stocked to 
the ceiling with canned goods. For the world is now business, 
political business and economic business. A nation is a concern, 
a government is only its shop counter, and its diplomats are its 
traveling salesmen trying to outsell its competitors and beat 
them to a new market, and its publicists and thinkers are its 
expert accountants. The audacity of these thinkers of peace 
hurts my soul. 

Who can deny that economic thinking has superseded all 
other forms of thinking, that economic issues have obscured 
all other issues, that we are thinking of nothing but applying 
poultices to our economic sores, and that our highest spiritual 
hope is good business and plenty of consumer goods for all? 
And who can deny that this power and profit motive con- 
tains in itself the seeds of future wars ? Who can gainsay the 
fact that we are living in a decade of moral and spiritual 
bankruptcy and of the elimination of morals from politics? 
Far from being an empty phrase, materialism colors 95 per 
cent of our effective thinking. In fact, it is strangling our 
thinking* 

Soap is good. That is taken for granted. Nothing impresses 
me more in American civilization than the fact that soap here 
is good and cheap and available to all. At American hotels, it is 
as costless as fresh air. Washing is both convenient and pleasant 
in the United States. Americans are hardly aware of it, but 
Europeans and Orientals are when they come to visit America. 
Almost any soap you buy is bound to be of high quality. It is 
not an article of luxury; soap with the most exquisite perfume 
is obtainable even at the five-and-ten-cent stores. Soap has be- 
come democratic. At least one problem has been solved. The 



THE "WHITE MAN'S BURDEN" 63 

problem of removing stains from dresses and rugs and scratches 
from varnished tables, too, has been solved ably; there exist 
almost miraculous remedies. 

Technological progress and industrial research have gathered 
such momentum that nothing is going to stop them. Imprison 
all the scientists and disgrace all the directors of Du Pont and 
General Electric, and material progress will still go on. Con- 
demn the inventors of fluorescent paint and disfranchise the 
perfectors of the air-cooling system, and new inventors will 
rise from the Arizona desert and be shipped by some under- 
ground organization to New York and Detroit with the con- 
nivance of the police. You cannot dethrone science and you 
need not. 

Soap is plentiful. That is a positive achievement of American 
democracy. The striking thing is that there is at the same time 
a complete absence of a philosophy of peace. To give soap to 
Hottentots, while American soap-makers at home make more 
money, is not the road to peace. But that is the highest intel- 
lectual level we can rise to. On the proposed Utopian plan to 
sell soap to four hundred million Indians there is always com- 
plete agreement, and even some degree of enthusiasm. On the 
proposal to give India freedom, there are many reservations, 
hesitations, rationalizations, and beating about the bush, and 
not a trace of enthusiasm. If the Allies ever give back India's 
freedom, it will be with a feeling of "just-too-bad, there Vnoth- 
ing-else-you-can-do" despondency. Under such circumstances, 
it is easy to be a spiritual prophet and denounce like Savonarola 
the materialism of this age. It is no distinction at all. Just some 
common sense will enable anyone to see this point. The strange 
thing is, common sense is so uncommon. We have been awed 
into silence by the economist, all of us. That is all. 

If there is one thing I can be sadistic about, it is swine-and- 
slop Economics. My only desire in life is to see the Economist, 
the law-giver of Europe, dethroned, disgraced, and hanged. I 
burn with rage whenever I see tables of percentages. If he were 



64 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

not so smug with his little facts, it would not arouse such a 
resentment in me. It's that expression which we see on the 
face of PhlX candidates a stilted and hypnotized expression, 
doped with facts and figures and statistical averages and me- 
chanical laws a case of complete auto-intoxication. The im- 
postor at least has a sense of humor, but the Economist is 
utterly humorless and sincere. He has a fear of emotions; all his 
educational training leads up to it He wants to be objective 
only and prays God that he be delivered from all emotion. He 
knows, and knows for certain, that for 1937 it (never mind 
what) is 27% per cent, but for 1938, it is 34% per cent, and he is 
as proud of his fractions as a cobbler is proud of leather. A cob- 
bler of Gotham, I was told, proposed to defend the city with 
leather. The Economist wants to defend the whole modern 
civilization with his fractions and statistical averages* Somehow 
if only the figures are juggled right, there will be peace in the 
world. He tells you, this is science; it is positive, objective 
knowledge. He has a special technique and a set of parapher- 
nalia, with which he overawes the outsiders, and a special 
language what a language! It is his oracles, and the god he 
consults is Materialism, and of that god he is the high priest 

Peace, we are told, is a highly technical matter, like the mak- 
ing of synthetic rubber. It consists, we are told, of lowering 
tariff barriers, establishing international air routes and air bases, 
shipping and insurance credits and guarantee of capital invest- 
ments abroad, easing of population pressures, raising the stand- 
ard of living. Peace is just distributing ration coupons to the 
world. So, if we get together an army of tariff experts, air 
experts, shipping experts, insurance experts, rubber experts, 
and cactus experts (of which there are fifty-seven varieties) 
and alfalfa experts (those who specialize in the crinkly alfalfa 
and the flat-leaf one), and divide all these experts into depart- 
ments and sections, then we are going to have peace. 

It is this form of materialism that is driving me mad. I have 
no wish to be a spiritual prophet, but the Fact-Cult has gone 



"GOVERNMENT BY MUSIC" 65 

a little too far. The first step of wisdom is the realization of 
this folly of the inadequacy of our conception of peace. 



8 



"GOVERNMENT BY MUSIC" 

BUT what is a philosophy of peace? Peace is an ever-present 
condition of living, rather than the abstract condition to be de- 
voutly wished for in some distant Utopia. Peace is normal, as 
health is normal. We have to have a philosophy in which we 
believe that peace is positive and not merely the absence of 
conflicts and wars a negative ideal. Peace is rich, peace is 
satisfying, peace is* growth and movement and action and life. 
Peace is as natural as harmony because it is the normal way 
of man; man rejects war as he intuitively rejects discord or 
dissonance in music. And the psychology of domestic peace, 
national peace, and world peace cannot be very different it 
is merely the harmony of social relationships. For that harmony 
of social relationships there is a technique. Human philosophy 
should occupy itself exclusively with that technique of social 
harmony. ^ 

Naturally, I have been searching in Chinese thought for ele- 
ments that might be contributions to the philosophy of world 
peace. Human society in China is on the whole no better than 
human society in the West. There are squalor, poverty, quar- 
rels, corruption, selfishness, and social injustice. There are as 
many reactionaries in China as in the West, only a little less 
appeasers in high places. The thought causes a shudder. After 
all, the man who deals with Darlan must envy Laval, who 
can deal directly with Hitler. Both proceed on the principle of 
expediency at the sacrifice of principles, but after all the man 



66 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

who deals with an accessory must envy the man who is able 
to deal with the principal Man in China acts both on "princi- 
ple" (ching) and on "expediency" (cKuan)^ both fully recog- 
nized by Confucian teachers. But somehow he still believes in 
moral principles and values and their validity in practical 
action. 

Where China utterly differs from the West are the three 
contempts: the contempt for the soldier, the contempt for the 
the police, and the contempt for lawyers. China has lived for 
4,000 years without police and lawyers, and the soldier is de- 
spised. It is an unmathematical way of life, arising from con- 
tempt for the mathematical way of thinking. 

Evidently, here is a new approach. The Chinese believe 
that when there are too many policemen, there can be no in- 
dividual liberty, when there are too many lawyers, there can 
be no justice, and when there are too many soldiers, there can 
be no peace. Peace can be obtained only by putting the govern- 
ment in reverse. Since this is a world of mixed characters, let 
there be a government to put a few fellows in jail. That is 
all the government exists for. True justice is obtained by set- 
tlement out of court, and true peace is obtained when soldiers 
are unseen, unheard of, and unknown. Ultimately the problem 
of peace is the problem of general education in good manners 
and music. 

I am not joking when I say that this is the basic teaching 
of Confucianism. It is the central, basic, and fundamental 
teaching of Confucian philosophy, which merges political and 
moral problems into one. For this is the strangest outcome of 
the reputed Confucian good sense government by good man- 
ners and by music. Americans, who are intensely practical, may 
agree that government by police, particularly secret police, is 
highly repellent. They may agree that government by law, 
though workable, may be slightly inadequate and fall short 
of the highest ideal. They know that government by a series of 
verlotens in the Prussian style is not good enough for the dem- 



"GOVERNMENT BY MUSIC" 67 

ocratic individual, and that the good life is something more 
than obeying a series of "Thou shah not V They know that 
in a mature, full-grown democracy, peace and order ultimately 
depend on the decency and self-respect of the individual. 

I like Americans best when I see them breaking laws and 
regulations, when I see at a movie theater that the audience's 
sympathy is with the stowaway and not with the law-uphold- 
ing captain, and when I see on the trains between Washington 
and New York people smoking in every car marked "No 
Smoking." These are born democrats, I say. When the situation 
gets bad enough, it is not the Herr Conductor that will stop it, 
but the public, by somebody writing to the 'New Yorf^ Times 
pleading against the danger of ashes burning babies' arms. If 
the public does not mind, neither will the American conductor. 
But imagine a Prussian crowd smoking in a car where smoking 
is verbotcnl They just can't do it, and that is why the Weimar 
Republic fell and the Frankfurter Zdtung turned tail and they 
needed a Hitler. Put a Hitler over an American crowd to tell 
them not to do this and not to. do that, and see the result. 
He would not survive three months before his head was 
smashed. Democracy's reply to Prohibition was the speakeasies. 
The history of the speakeasies is the glorious history of exactly 
how much the American people would stand for verbotens, 
and of how they would obey even laws passed by themselves! 
I take off my hats to these Americans, because they are like 
my own people, the Chinese. You can't "prohibit" the Ameri- 
cans, nor can you the Chinese. An official prohibition to do a 
thing is an invitation to a Chinese to do it. Long live the iden- 
tity of our causes! 

Even so, the practical Americans must doubt Confucius' 
reputation for common sense when they hear of his proposal 
to govern a country by music. Only a Saroyan could have said 
a thing like that. Nevertheless, I maintain that Confucius was 
quite sane, as I shall try to show. Confucius actually "sang in 



68 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

the rain." 13 Confucius did say it, and said it time and again all 
his life. Such was his precept about government and his em- 
phasis on worship and song that one of his disciples took his 
words literally. When Gonfucius one day approached a city 
where his disciple, Tseyu, had been made magistrate, he heard 
public singing going on in the squares. 

Confucius grinned and said to Tseyu, "You are killing 
a chicken with a big cleaver for killing a cow." "But I 
heard from you/* replied Tseyu, "that when the superior 
man had learned culture, he would become kind and when 
the common man learned culture, he would become self- 
disciplined." Confucius turned to the other disciples and 
said, "You fellows, what he says is right. I was only pull- 
ing his leg!" 14 

I have chosen this aspect of Confucianism to show, by way 
of contrast, the Confucian emphasis on spiritual values, and to 
reveal the devastating inadequacy of the economic solution for 
peace. The adolescent idea that peace can be achieved by a 
mechanical distribution of goods, its crudity and its inade- 
quacy, will become apparent. We must soon come to the posi- 
tion of admitting that the man who talks of music and spiritual 
harmony is not just a moron, and refuse to believe that only 
the man who talks of canned goods is "practical." If practical 
good sense means preoccupation with material realities of food 
and clothing and shelter, that decidedly is not a characteristic 
of Confucianism. 

Of the factors of government, Confucius had this to say: 

Tsekung asked about government, and Confucius re- 
plied, "People must have sufficient to eat; there must be a 
sufficient army; and there must be faith in the nation." 

18 See the piece "Confucius Singing: in the Rain," With Love and Irony, p. 167. 
u The Wisdom oj China and India, pp. 821-822. 



"GOVERNMENT BY MUSIC" 69 

"If you were forced to give up one of these three factors, 
what would you go without?" asked Tsekung. Confucius 
said, "I would go without the army first." "And if you 
were forced to go, without one of the two remaining fac- 
tors, which would you rather go without?" asked Tsekung 
again. "I would go without sufficient food. There have 
always been deaths in % every generation, but a nation with- 
out faith cannot stand!' 15 

Since the psychology of peace is the same, whether it be 
domestic, national, or world peace, the factors of such a peace, 
according to Confucius, may be appropriately examined here. 
We have been used to treating politics as a separate problem, 
as strictly a problem of the machinery of administration, cut 
apart from morals. Confucianism envisages the government 
as only one of the four factors of bringing about social order, 
"rituals, music, punishments and administration"; in fact, it 
is always contemptuous of a purely political solution as such. 
Only so can we understand the fantastic theory of government 
by music. The conception of peace is more than the mechanics 
of keeping good men out of jail and bad men in it; it is re- 
lated to true manhood and to social and national health, in 
which music seems the best and most natural fruition of cul- 
ture. It almost seems that the enjoyment of music provides the 
aim and end and raison d'etre of culture itself. 

For so are the nature and function of government and the 
nature of domestic, national, and world peace conceived: 

It follows, therefore, that to govern a country without K 
(rituals, and the principle of moral order) is like tilling a 
field without a plough. To observe K without basing it on 
the standard of right is like tilling the field and forgetting 
to sow the seeds. To try to do right without cultivating 
knowledge is like sowing the seeds without weeding the 



15 Ibid., p. 839. 



70 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

field. To cultivate knowledge without bringing it back to 
the aim of true manhood is like weeding the field without 
harvesting it And to arrive at the aim of true manhood 
without coming to enjoy it through music is like harvest- 
ing and forgetting to eat the harvest. To enjoy true man- 
hood through music and not arrive at complete harmony 
with nature is like eating and not becoming well fed, or 
healthy. 

When the four limbs are well developed and the skin 
is clear and the flesh is full, that is the health of the body. 
When the parents and children are affectionate, the broth- 
ers are good towards one another and the husband and 
wife live in harmony, that is the health of the family. 
When the higher officials obey the law and die lower 
officials are honest, the officers have regulated and well- 
defined functions afid the king and ministers help one 
another on the right course, that is the health of the 
nation. When the Emperor rides in the carriage of Virtue, 
with Music as his driver, when the different rulers meet 
one another with courtesy, the officials regulate one another 
with law, the scholars urge one another by the standard 
of honesty, and the people are united in peace, that is the 
health of the world. This is called the Grand Harmony 
(tashun} 

From such a picture of world peace as the Grand Harmony, 
it is clear that peace is not the absence of conflicts, but the 
healthy result of a number of cultural forces. It is easy to 
understand therefore why a political solution is necessarily in- 
adequate and shallow in the "governing" of a country. Gov- 
ernment is more than governing hence the role of rituals 
and music. The four factors of social order work for a common 
goal. "Li (rituals), music, punishments and administration have 

18 For this and the following quotations, sec Wisdom of Confucius (Modern Li- 
brary), pp. 239-240, and 252-261. 



"GOVERNMENT BY MUSIC" 71 

a common goal, which is to bring about unity in the people's 
hearts, and carry out the principles of political order!' 

The defense of government by music in Lify (chapter "On 
Music") is made in curiously psychological terms. Rituals and 
music help to achieve this social harmony by establishing the 
right likes and dislikes, or what we call good taste in the 
people. Social and political chaos comes from certain unregu- 
lated desires. Ultimately, there can be peace only when there is 
peace in the human heart; it cannot be imposed from without. 
These psychological facts showing the origins of world chaos 
are still true today: 

The nature of man is usually quiet, but when it is af- 
fected by the external world, it begins to have desires. With 
the thinking mind becoming conscious of the impact of 
the material world, we begin to have likes and dislikes. 
When the likes and dislikes are not properly controlled 
and our conscious minds are distracted by the material 
world, we lose our true selves and the principle of Reason 
in nature is destroyed. When man is constantly exposed to 
the things of the material world which affect him and 
does not control his likes and dislikes, then he is over- 
whelmed by the material reality and becomes dehuman- 
ized or materialistic. When man becomes dehumanized 
or materialistic then the principle of Reason in nature 
is destroyed and man is submerged in his own desires. 
From this arise rebellion, disobedience, cunning and de- 
ceit/ and general immorality. We have then a picture of 
the strong bullying the weak, the majority persecuting the 
minority, the physically brave going for violence, the sick 
and crippled not being taken care of, and the aged and the 
young and helpless not cared for. This is the way of chaos. 

The people are therefore controlled through the rituals 
and music instituted by the ancient kings . . . the rituals 
regulate the people's feelings; music establishes harmony 



72 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

in the sounds of the country; the administration orders 
their conduct and the punishments prevent crimes. When 
rituals, music, punishments and administration are all in 
order, the principles of political order are complete. 

We are now in a position to follow the close connection be- 
tween music and rituals and good government a good gov- 
ernment based on good taste. 

Music unites, while rituals differentiate. Through union, 
the people come to be friendly toward one another, and 
through differentiation, the people come to learn respect 
for one another. If music predominates, the social structure 
becomes too amorphous, and if rituals predominate, social 
life becomes too rigid. To bring the people's inner feeling 
and external conduct into balance is the work of rituals 
and music. The establishment of rituals gives a well-de- 
fined sense of order and discipline, while the general 
spread of music and song establishes the general atmos- 
phere of peace among the people. When good taste is dis- 
tinguished from bad taste, then we have the means of 
distinguishing the good from the bad people, and wheij 
violence is prevented by the criminal law and the good 
men are selected for office, then the government becomes 
stable and orderly. With the doctrine of love for teaching 
affection, and the doctrine of duty for teaching moral recti- 
tude, the people will then have learned to live in a moral 
order. 

Music comes from the inside, while rituals come from 
the outside. Because music comes from the inside, .it is 
characterized by quiet and calm. And because rituals come 
from the outside, they are characterized by formalism. 
Truly great music is always simple in movement, and truly 
great rituals are always simple in form.. When good music 
prevails, there is no feeling of dissatisfaction, and when 



"GOVERNMENT BY MUSIC" 73 

proper rituals prevail, there is no strife and struggle. When 
we say that by mere bowing in salute the king can rule 
the world, we mean thereby the influence of rituals and 
music. When the violent elements of a nation are kept 
quiet, the different rulers come to pay homage, the mili- 
tary weapons are locked up, the five classes of punish- 
ments are not brought into use, and the people have no 
worries and the Emperor has no anger, then truly music 
has prevailed. When the parents arid children are affec- 
tionate toward one another, the juniors respect the elders, 
and this respect is extended to all people in the country, 
and the Emperor himself lives such an exemplary life, 
then we may truly say that li has prevailed' 9 

The constant contrasts of rituals and music as instruments 
of social and political order are philosophic and quite revealing 
and must help to correct the impression that practical Confu- 
cianism deals only with kitchen pots and pans, or can ever 
descend to the level of economic thought which reduces civi- 
lization and progress to the two questions of alimentation ("a 
quart of milk") and elimination (the flush toilet). "Truly 
great music shares the principle of harmony with the universe, 
and truly great ritualism shares the principle of distinctions 
with the universe." Again, "Music expresses the harmony of 
the universe, while rituals express the order of the universe. 
Through harmony all things are influenced, and through order 
all things have their proper place." Or again, "Musk illustrates 
the primordial forces of nature, while rituals reflect the prod- 
ucts of the creation. Heaven represents the principle of motion, 
while Earth represents the principle of rest, and these two prin- 
ciples of motion and rest permeate life between Heaven and 
Earth. Therefore, the Sage tal\s about rituals and music" 

Finally we arrive at the perception of the profound truth con- 
cerning the creation of harmony, and the basis of a great na- 
tion. "Therefore, the superior man tries to create harmony in 



74 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

the human heart by a rediscovery of human nature, and tries 
to promote music as a means to the perfection of human cul- 
ture. When such music prevails and the people's minds are led 
toward the right ideals and aspirations, we may see the appear* 
ance of a great nation! 9 

Confucius, I am sure, shares with me the impatience with 
the techniques of alimentation and elimination as the means 
for solving the present world chaos and planning a world 
peace. We are miserably mistaken if we think that Asiatics 
can be satisfied with the white man's canned goods. What they 
prize are the empty cans because they have a tinkling sound 
which pleases the ear and a shining luster which pleases the 
soul. For their food, they prefer bananas. 



9 

MATHEMATICS AND PEACE 

WE NEED a larger and subtler vision. I have referred to the 
Chinese contempt for the mathematical way of thinking. This 
weakness of ancient China was also her greatest strength. All 
the important things in life lie somewhat outside the sphere 
of the mathematically calculable. It is. the incalculables that 
count, because it is the incalculables that make us human be- 
ings and not the figures of machines. The soul, for instance, is 
incalculable; so are God, freedom, decency, self-respect, hon- 
esty, pride, and on the other side of the picture, hatred, fear, 
revenge, sadism, personal ambition. It is these passions and 
their idiosyncratic ways of which we know nothing that upset 
human life. You cannot chart their course, but still you have 
to make provisions for them. It is these things, about which 



MATHEMATICS AND PEACE 75 

the economists and mathematicians have nothing to say, that 
are important in planning for peace. 

Peace is not a mathematical formula and cannot be worked 
out by mathematical equations. From what has been said about 
the Confucian theory of government by courtesy and music, 
it must have become clear that what Chinese thought lost in 
precision it gained in subtlety. For in all things truly great and 
utterly small, mathematics is inadequate. It is in measuring 
astronomical and atomic motions that science is all agog and 
recognizes that the laws of mathematics fail. And so what is 
more important than the shape and configuration of the peace 
after the war is our method of arriving at it and our concep- 
tion of the peace process. Our conception of the peace process 
is a mathematical one, and the Asiatic contribution to the ideas 
for creating peace is first of all a challenge to the adequacy 
of the mathematical approach. Mathematics is cold, but life is 
warm; that is why mathematics must forever fail to explain 
life. Reducing the musical note of C to a number of vibrations 
per second does not explain Lily Pons or Elizabeth Schumann. 
What explain Lily Pons or Elizabeth Schumann are the over- 
tones which are somewhat beyond mathematical calculations* 
He who goes for exactness must sacrifice subtlety, and vice 
versa. Since peace is also a part of life, the mathematical ap- 
proach must also fail to explain peace, or understand peace, 
or create it. 

In other words, peace cannot be arrived at by a point ration 
system* The more blurred and indeterminate the natural boun- 
daries, the happier the neighbors are. The less talk about tariff 
barriers, the greater the flow of trade. The more inexact our 
delegates' ideas of population figures, the nearer we are to a 
peace solution. The less concerned the big powers are over 
the undeveloped areas, the happier are the "natives." The less 
thought we spend on the diameter of gun barrels, the less 
imminent is World War III. 

That is why I have a hunch that if we leave the planning 



76 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

of world peace to women, we shall have it, because as the 
average woman goes, they are pretty bad at figures. A fair pre- 
caution to be taken against men delegates to the Peace Con- 
ference would be to establish a rule that they must have flunked 
at school in mathematics to qualify for the appointment or elec- 
tion. Actually even Secretary Hull can think quite sanely and 
philosophically about the deeper problems of peace if you 
remove from his company that statistical fiend, Leo Pasvolsky* 
For it must never be forgotten that even in the realm of die 
physical world, science explains the how, but never the why 
and the wherefore. It deals with the process, but not the ulti- 
mate cause, nor the values of the end results* The process lies 
within the field of mathematics, the values and primary cause 
lie without. Science explains how the atoms behave, but does 
not explain why they so behave. It describes how two mole- 
cules of sodium and carbon come together, but does not explain 
why they must come together. It describes acids and alkalis, 
but cannot say anything about the ultimate acidity of acids* 
It proves that quinine cures malaria, but does not know why 
quinine kills the malaria germs. It describes to you the laws of 
gravitation,, but does not pretend to tell you what gravitation 
is, and why it must be. Before the ultimate Door of Mystery, 
science always stops short and never enters. It sees acorns sprout 
and grow into oaks, but cannot tell why they must do so. It 
observes and proves the survival of the fittest, but cannot ac- 
count for the arrival of the fittest. It explains how the giraffe 
survives by his long neck but cannot explain the chemical and 
physiological process that produced the first long neck. It tells 
of the survival value of the spotted leopard, but is at a loss 
about the arrival of the spots. It explains the survival value of 
the flower's fragrance, but is bashfully silent as to how lilacs 
and lemons develop their peculiar fragrance. It tells you that 
silkworms spin silk from mulberry leaves and bees produce 
honey from nectar and cows produce milk from common grass, 
and not much else that is really enlightening. For ultimately, 



MATHEMATICS AND PEACE 77 

bees just produce honey and cows just produce milk and lilacs 
just create out of the common sod that unmistakable, incom- 
parable perfume. And they all do it simply, finally, and inevi- 
tably. 

Doubly is this true of the human realm and the realm of 
the spirit. Christian preoccupation with matter and the ma- 
terialistic conception of man and of human life and human his- 
tory arouses in me an uncontrollable heathen rage. I have said 
that peace on earth is an act of faith, and without faith we 
shall not be saved. There is almost nothing of value in human 
life that science can prove, and these human values we have 
to take on faith. For one thing, the central concept of democ- 
racy, the worth and dignity of the individual, can never be 
proved; science can never prove that the individual is dignified. 
Cold objectivity fails when a subjective attitude comes in, and 
human life is 90 per cent attitudes. A woman is a lady when 
she treats herself as a lady and a whore when she treats her- 
self as a whore. The next minute, a whore can change herself 
into a lady, by that ultimate hidden process which science must 
fail to explain a process which belongs to the secret of life, 
and which is as impenetrable to science as that by which the 
lilac manufactures its perfume. Science has nothing to say 
about human happiness, freedom, and equality, because science 
does not, and cannot, deal with these human values. Freedom 
of the will cannot be proved. The possibility of world co-opera- 
tion cannot be proved. These things have to be proved, not by 
science, but by faith and by human action. Even the future 
of the son of a drunkard or a moron or a genius cannot be 
proved or predicted. The individual always eludes science, and 
it is only in the mass that the semblance of deterministic laws, 
like insurance statistics, can be established. But unless the whole 
view of human society is deterministic, the science of human 
society cannot even begin. We have to concede either that 
men and women are helpless pawns of certain mechanical 
forces, or we must concede that any science of human activities 



78 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

(science of history, or poetry, for instance) is an impossibility. 

Therein lies the danger of the mechanical solution of the 
problem of peace. But the western way of mathematical think- 
ing is established. Hence our present utter confusion a hun- 
dred postwar plans and not one way out. Not one plan gives 
us the sense of assurance that peace will come. How com- 
pletely mechanical our way of thinking is may be illustrated 
by a few personal experiences of mine. J| 

One of the greatest shocks in my college days was when I 
learned the corpuscular theory of smell. I had thought that 
smell was just smell, something if not spiritual, at least not 
corpuscular, I had not troubled to explain it. The idea that 
smell was transmitted by particles radiating from a body and 
striking the nerve endings of my nostrils presupposes that 
these particles constantly radiate in all directions as theoreti- 
cally visible bodies and fill the air. That may be right and that 
may be wrong; I have no idea. Maybe moth balls do throw off 
those bodily particles. But we have to imagine the same of 
almost all articles and beings, and the air must be chock 
full of these smell particles. Dogs detect uncanny smells of 
persons that we are hardly aware of; some must be positively 
sweet, others repellent. If dogs had a language, they would 
have a greater variety of words for smell than our highly inade- 
quate words such as "fragrance" and "stench" and the vague 
one "pungency." Certain smells would blend, like colors, and 
others would not; it would be even possible to imagine a 
symphony of smells, as we do of sounds. And all these particles 
must dance in space. But the theory is on the whole tenable. 

When it comes to light, the corpuscular theory is distinctly 
shaking, for the best professors of light cannot agree on this 
point. Is light matter, or is it a wave, an impulse, and if the 
latter, a wave of what? There we are at a dead end. The cor- 
puscular theory raises many theoretic difficulties. If light con- 
sists of particles of something, and since two lights in a valley 
on a dark night hit out in all directions, the two "bodies" 



MATHEMATICS AND PEACE 79 

must occupy the same space at the same time at any point 
where the two lights are visible. In the end,, that light is a 
body must seem to the man of the future like some medieval 
superstition of this mechanical age. At present, we are held 
down by a mechanical concept because we cannot think of 
anything without a body. The substance of light is puzzling 
us. Hence we call it "quantum/' which says nothing except 
that it is a quantity. A quantity of what? 

I remember also, while studying under Edouard Sievers, 
being told that the essential types of rhythm of poetry are twos 
and threes. Now that is common sense because one syllable 
does not form a rhythm by itself, and a rhythm of four syllables 
automatically breaks up into either one and three or into two 
twos. But that would not be scientific. There is a semi-scientific 
theory that our sense of rhythm of poetry has a pkysicalfam. 
The two-syllable rhythm is based on the movement of our 
footsteps left and right. And how about the three-syllable 
rhythm? It is based on our respiration two for exhaling and 
one for inhaling! This is not science, but what I call the "small 
talk" of science, the irresponsible rumors. How often professors 
of the humanities pass from science to scientific small talk the 
layman is seldom aware such as the conjecture that the Roman 
Empire fell because of mosquitoes, which produced malaria! 
Like society's small talk, these are always pretty and tend to 
make one prick up one's ears. 

Recently, a friend of mine confided to me his theory of time. 
His theory is that time is not an absolute quantity, but an 
arbitrary one. For instance, the length of a morning cannot be 
the same for an insect which lives for only a summer season as 
it is for a human being who lives seventy or eighty years. I told 
him that Chuangtse said literally the same thing. But, he said, 
he had consulted a doctor about this idea, and the doctor had 
suggested it was probably correct, but that the feeling of time 
probably had something to do with the rate of the heart beat 
of the animal! I was stunned. The layman is seldom aware to 



8o BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

what extent the small talk, the improvable assumptions, per- 
meate the so-called human sciences, like psychology, and how 
largely speculative the whole fabric of psychoanalysis is. (Such 
as, for instance, the speculative sally that childhood constipation 
causes stubbornness or miserliness of character, and loose bowels 
produce the habit of generosity. Shade of Roger Bacon!) 

I mention these instances to show how incorrigibly mechan- 
ical our present-day way of thinking is. Therefore, it is in- 
evitable that in our thinking of peace we must also confine 
ourselves to the mechanical barriers, zones, quotas, tonnages, 
square miles, and population densities, and must perforce 
neglect the higher and invisible things that alone make peace 
possible. We have a kind of blind faith in figures. Ely Culbert- 
son typifies this when he transfers his mathematical thinking 
from contract bridge to the international peace force. Given 
an international trump card, a "widow," that all parties can 
call for, and given a certain distribution of cards, he believes 
that it is impossible for any hand to win against the rest. He 
does not say anything about the human equation of the bridge 
players how one may play recklessly and another may miss 
a certain chance through sheer preoccupation with a beautiful 
lady at his side. The game will be like an automatic machine 
that wins against all. 

After the experience of the last war, the Senate of the United 
States thought there was a sure mechanical means of ensuring 
peace, viz., physical insulation from war areas by the cash-and- 
carry principle. German submarines sank American ships and 
American men and goods. That was how America was dragged 
into war. Ergo, the mechanical insulation should lie in not 
permitting American ships and American goods to sail in war 
zones! It was simplicity itself. They forgot that there was a 
human, psychological element: there might be a time when 
the people would not want to apply the cash-and-carry prin- 
ciple, or indeed a time when the people would not stand for 
its application. And so again, what was built with cards was 



DEFENSE OF COURTESY 81 

no stronger than a house of cards. No, neither Arabic figures 
nor Roman numerals can give us a system of peace. Arabic 
figures are only good for ration systems or lottery tickets; they 
may be used as instruments for peace, but they can ne ver insure 
peace. 

So I am still for Confucius, and for government by music 
and by good manners. Confucius passes at once beyond the 
frontier of the mathematically calculable and goes to the root 
of social and political order in moral order. He goes even be- 
yond the "political" machinery of law and government and 
tries to "create harmony in the human heart by a rediscovery 
oj^liuman nature." He points out the strife and chaos resulting 
from unregulated human desires, that come from the impact 
of the material world. 

When man is constantly exposed to the things of the 
material world which affect him and does not control his 
likes and dislikes, then he is overwhelmed by the material 
reality and becomes dehumanized or materialistic. When 
man becomes dehumanized or materialistic, then the prin- 
ciple of Reason in nature is destroyed. From this arise re- 
bellion, disobedience . . . 



10 

DEFENSE OF COURTESY 

AT THIS point, I feel I must offer a defense of government 
by courtesy and good manners, or government by "rituals," 
Curiously, the concept of 7f covers both, and extends to the 
concept of establishing political order by a prevailing sense of 



82 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

moral order, of which the social, religious, and state rituals are 
to be the symbols. 

This prevailing sense of moral order, through establishing 
the psychological attitude of orderliness, is the philosophic aim 
of //, the central concept of Confucian teachings. For Confu- 
cianism was known as the "religion of li! f Still, the notion 
of courtesy, just ordinary social courtesy, remains vivid above 
the deeper philosophical interpretations. The Chinese call their 
country "The Country of Courtesy (/i) and Accommodation 
(Jang)" They meant that the Chinese civilization was entitled 
to the name of civilization in contrast to the surrounding bar- 
barian tribes and they were barbarian tribes only by virtue 
of its emphasis on courtesy and accommodation ( ff aprs vou$")> 
whereas the barbarian tribes to the north, south, east, and west, 
knew only of fighting one's way through and knew not the 
culture of letting the other fellow get in first. 

We alone knew when to bow once, when to bow twice, and 
when to bow three times. We called it the mark of civilization. 
It was to be a country of people whose culture was permeated, 
whose manners were changed, and whose hearts were influ- 
enced, by worship and song (rituals and music). We were to 
bow and sing on state occasions, bow and sing at village fes- 
tivals, bow and sing at wedding ceremonies, and bow and sing 
during archery contests. Through this bowing and singing, 
our hearts were supposed to be changed, we were to feel refined 
and civilized, like the lords and ladies at the court of Louis XV. 
Confucius said of archery contests that the gentleman also en- 
tered "into contests, but that he "bowed before he went up and 
drank a cup after he came down. Even at contests, he was a 
gentleman." Through the ceremonies of worship, secular and 
religious, we were supposed to imbibe a sense of respect for 
social order and be taught the attitude of humility in civilized 
intercourse. Through ancestor worship as a symbolic ritual, the 
people's attitude of respect for and gratitude toward their elders 
was to be inculcated and established. Once when Confucius 



DEFENSE OF COURTESY 83 

was assisting the King of Lu at a conference with the King of 
Ch'i, he so shamed the neighboring king and his entourage 
by Lu's superior manners and classical music that the King of 
Ch'i felt like a barbarian, humiliated and disgraced, for Ch'i 
offered at the conference music and dance of the Yi barbarians 
in what is now eastern Shantung. "When you watch a nation's 
dance, you know its character," said Confucius. 

Confucius understood mass psychology better than anybody 
else. Rituals were symbols, and the masses needed symbols. For 
a baron to wear a cap with nine strings of beads or to worship 
at Mount Tai, exclusive privileges of the Emperor, would be 
not only an insufferable outrage of good manners, but would 
be indicative of a rebellious spirit and of social chaos. When a 
baron used at his feasts dancers in eight formations, to which 
only the Emperor was entitled, instead of in four, which was 
proper to a baron, Confucius exclaimed, "If one is to stand for 
this, what will one not stand for?" 

Since words were also symbols, Confucius developed another 
central concept on the correct use of terms. His only book was 
a compilation of Annals (Ck'unch'iu) with the sole purpose 
of restoring a sharp discipline in the correct use of terms and 
titles. The idea was that when he wrote down the words 
"Baron of Ch'u" (who had called himself "King") in his 
Annals, the latter suffered a moral and psychological defeat 
and should be shamed out of his disregard for the social and 
moral order. It was in this sense that Mencius said of this book 
by Confucius that when it was written, "The unruly nobles 
and rebellious spirits trembled." 

This whole psychological approach to social order is very 
curious. It would be a comparatively easy matter for some 
Ph.D. candidate to write a thesis on "The Psychology of Con- 
fucius" by dressing him up in western terms like the "psychol- 
ogy of habit," "psychology of imitation," "acquired childhood 
reflexes," and "mass conditioning by symbols." I am all for 
psychology, because it alone holds the key to human behavior, 



84 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

provided the psychologists could give up its title of a "science" 
in the sense of a natural science, and confine themselves to 
sharp and witty observations of human behavior and human 
motives, as Confucius and William James did. 

There is a closer relation between good manners and peace 
politics than one might think. I know what is war politics 
and power politics, and I have been somewhat hard put to it 
to think what is peace politics. Round and round the circle we 
might go and might not find the answer. Take out the politics 
of power and of struggle for selfish interests, limited only by 
the law, and what have we got in its place? Confucianism ex- 
presses a huge dissatisfaction with the conception of govern- 
ment by law. For the law always falls one step behind manners 
and morals; the most charming things men do are always those 
that rise above legal obligations. "Guide the people with admin- 
istrative measures and regulate them by the threat of punish- 
ments, and the people will try to keep out of jail, but will have 
no sense of honor. Guide them by morals and regulate them 
by good manners, and they will have a sense of honor and 
respect." "In presiding over law-suits I am probably as good 
as anybody. The point is that there should be no law-suits at 
all." 17 The conception of legal restraint is postulated on the 
idea of selfish strife and struggle among the elements of society. 
Laws cannot stand against bayonets, and when a local or inter- 
national brigand tears up the law or takes the law into his 
hands, what have we got to defend the law and defeat the 
brigand with except those noneconomic and nonmaterial fac- 
tors the outraged conscience of mankind? No, we do not 
escape psychology. Secretary Hull's "orderly processes of nego- 
tiation" represent the civilized procedure for international ad- 
justments. But what is the spirit of these "orderly processes" ? 
Polite diplomatic phraseology apart, is it not the spirit of good 
manners, of courtesy, and accommodation? What do civilized 
men do, and what should civilized nations do? Will they ac- 

17 Wisdom of Confucius, p. 198. 



DEFENSE OF COURTESY 85 

commodate? Will tliey yield to one another? The spirit of 
courtesy and accommodation is the very antithesis of the spirit 
of strife and contention. It is the true basis of civilized living, 
and it is also the only possible basis of a more civilized world 
order. 

I think the Casablanca Conference failed not merely because 
Stalin refused to come, in spite of President Roosevelt's and 
Winston Churchill's going to North Africa, instead of meeting 
at Washington or Montreal. It failed on the score of bad man- 
ners. China's role in this war in 1943, we are told, was dis- 
cussed, decided upon, and handed out to China. Casablanca 
revealed to the whole world that Britain and the United States 
intended to run the whole war themselves. That they are not 
conscious of their bad manners is more the pity, for they will 
be equally unconscious of their bad manners at the peace table. 
These do not look like the principles upon which we are going 
to build a lasting peace by willing co-operation based on good 
manners and mutual respect. One cannot win a war for de- 
mocracy by dictatorial methods. 

The reverse of this case is equally true. China's bowing 
in foreign relations has been the cause of misunderstanding 
with her Allies. Stemming from courtesy and self-restraint, it 
is taken for a sign of weakness. Silence and absence of protests 
against the shipping of oil and scrap iron to Japan were taken 
to mean profound satisfaction with the state of affairs. 

The Stettinius report showed that for the two months of Jan- 
uary and February, 1943, Lend-Lease shipments to the United 
Kingdom amounted to $470,098,000, to Russia $293,370,00, and 
to China $1,067,000. Such a 763:1 ratio means, if the amount 
were to be given out in equal daily portions to the three na- 
tions by turns, China would have to wait two years, one month 
and three days before she got one day's amount. How did 
China invite such preposterous contempt? By China bowing 
and looking extremely well pleased. An aggressive stenogra- 



86 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

pher asks for a raise in salary. A good-mannered stenographer 
never does. 

That discrepancy in manners between a well-bred person 
from a good home, and an aggressive social world where every- 
body is accustomed to brandishing his fists to get what he 
wants, is the cause of the whole unmitigated failure of China's 
foreign policy with her Allies in the last six fighting years. By 
our kowtowing we were misunderstood. China has been acting 
like a college freshman just initiated into a fraternity, ready 
to shake everybody's hand. China must quickly shed her good 
manners and give somebody a black eye before she can be 
understood and gain the genuine respect of the fellow members 
of this strange fraternity. While the smug Allied statesmen still 
allow themselves to think that the Chinese government and 
people are extremely grateful to them and are looking up to 
them as worshipfully as a puppy that has been thrown a piece 
of dry bone and is perhaps even willing to stand up on its 
hind legs to entertain the company, some Chinese must tell 
them the bitter truth. The bitter truth is that behind the cour- 
teous front, resentment against the conduct of certain govern- 
ments is very bitter, that the Chinese are frankly disappointed 
in their Allies, are getting the impression that their Allies are 
wholly selfish and insincere and that both Churchill and 
Roosevelt show no comprehension of the nature of Asiatic 
problems. They are, moreover, uncertain of what their Allies 
are fighting for. 

The psychology of peace politics is simply this : rough people 
fight; courteous people don't. Fighting is a social and inter- 
national disgrace. Courteous men fight sometimes, and when 
they do fight it is certain that the other party is a barbarian 
or he is living in a barbarian world with barbarian neighbors, 
where good manners do not avail Only good manners, accord- 
ing to Mentius, distinguish men from the beasts. 



EUROPE ANI2ATION OF THE WORLD 87 

11 

EUROPEANIZATION OF THE WORLD 

THE European world is falling apart because its moral values 
have gone and there is just nothing to hold it together. Nation- 
alism, racial prejudice, militarism (or simple belief in a social 
order based on force), commercialism, and the development 
of the machine are breaking it up before our eyes. 

Because of the working of these forces in the absence of faith 
and of a spiritual concept of man, because the economic man 
has replaced the spiritual man, everything is cracking. Nothing 
works; nothing guarantees stability. The League of Nations 
did not work. Disarmament conferences did not work. The 
Briand-Kellogg Pact, with the solemn signatures of kings and 
presidents, did not work. International pledges and treaties do 
not work. The mania for goods and markets and exploitation 
of material goes on* 

So Europe is upsetting the peace of the five continents. Be- 
cause of Europe and the European current of ideas and Eu- 
rope's example of imperialism and materialism to other con- 
tinents, women in Singapore have to die, Burmese villagers' 
houses have to burn, and peasants in China and in the Caucasus 
have to watch bombs falling on their fields. 

But being itself a slaughterhouse, Europe is now planning 
to transform Asia and Africa into a gigantic slaughterhouse. 
It still thinks that the world owes Europe a debt, and that the 
world has to come up to European standards of living. Europe, 
I know, still intends to appropriate the world. There are the 
British Empire, the French Empire, and the Dutch Empire. 
Even Portugal has got a concession, Macao, in China! Thank 
God the Spanish Empire has crumbled and collapsed, otherwise 
we would have just as complicated problems in South America. 



88 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

Today Asia and Africa must still be the cows that produce 
the milk for Europeans. Why? Because Europe wants to raise 
their standards of living and educate them toward self-govern- 
ment! Who in the first place robbed them of their liberty and 
their self-government? Who says that the standards of living 
in India have improved, and not deteriorated, after two cen- 
turies of English rule ? Sir Norman Angell dares not contradict 
the fact that the abject poverty of the Indian peasants is worse 
than even that of seventy years ago, owing to English exploita- 
tion and the killing of native industries. While I am writing 
this, the boast of some English bureaucrats in India, "the situa- 
tion is well in hand," keeps ringing in my ears. I see the 
Empire breaking, but unwillingly. But unless the Empire 
breaks itself, the issue of Empire will break the Allies and the 
Peace Conference arid render futile all that men are dying 
for now. 

But at present, the Europeanization of the world is not just 
an idea, an abstraction. The democratic leaders of the world 
are transferring to Asia their sin-smelling and strife-breeding 
power politics, with the sure result that Asia, by means of a 
prepared and planned balance of power, will be kept in con- 
tinual bloodshed and strife and mutual slaughter for the next 
three centuries, after Europe's noble example. Europe is the 
focus of infection on this earth, and its toxin spreads through 
all the five continents. When will the plague burn itself out? 
Why cannot Europe leave Asia alone ? How can we quarantine 
Europe? How, in other words, quarantine European power 
politics? I shall be able to show that without European inter- 
ference, the problems of the future of Asia after the war are 
quite simple. With the British, French, and Dutch Empires, 
the problems of Asia will become as complicated as those of 
Europe itself after the war. 

And here, before I go on, I must make an exception for the 
lambs of Europe and separate them from the wolves. I mean 
the Norwegians, the Swedes, the Danes, the Swiss, who wish 



EUROPEANIZATION OF THE WORLD 89 

nobody any harm and who are pioneers in social legislation and 
standards of enlightenment. The Dutch, the Belgians, and the 
English are splendid people when they stay at home. The com- 
pelling tradition of social decency is so great that all you need 
to do to make an Englishman a gentleman again is to ship 
him back west of the Suez Canal. Really the white man is 
quite charming when he has got rid of his "burden." He can 
even discuss Walter Pater with you. 

But what are you going to Europeanize the world with? 
The better knowledge of vitamins and nutrition, child care, 
maternity care, and better foundations for women's dress are 
conceded. Don't worry about those. The women of Turkey, 
Iraq, Iran, China, and the Congo will bless you for these things 
and gladly pay homage to Europe without question. But what 
are you going to Europeanize the world with ? The European 
standards of living, of course. Curious that one does not say 
the standards of morals. Nobody dares to suggest that the 
standards of morals and of thinking of the East or of the West 
be raised. No, it is not the gospel of high thinking and simple 
living that the economic man is the apostle of. Rather the 
gospel of high living and fairly simple thinking, such simple 
thinking as that material prosperity brings happiness, or that 
the industrial man is happier than the craftsman. When one 
speaks of raising the standards of living, one means clearly 
and simply that laundry will be more pleasant, and dish-wash- 
ing and vacuum-cleaning will be easier on the housewife, plus 
perhaps a quart of milk a day for the Hottentot. One means 
less hand labor. One means having a car and seeing a movie 
once a week. One means exactly these things. 

The message of raising the standards of living of the world 
means simply that you want to move the people of the East 
End and all the world to Park Avenue. But suppose the people 
of the East End do not like Park Avenue and prefer to remain 
where they are. Have they lost something important, and what 
have they lost? Suppose the Hottentot does not care for your 



90 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

quart of milk, and prefers bananas? Suppose the Oriental man 
does not share your ideas of hand labor and the Oriental 
woman does not mind washing her clothes on a river bank 
while chatting with her neighbors, and thinks it pleasanter 
than washing by a machine in a hot, steaming cellar ? Suppose 
the Oriental man does not think it is such a bad thing to wade 
knee-deep in rice paddies and plough his land, son in front and 
father behind ? Suppose he believes it is good for the body and 
the soul to use his hands in work and his bare legs in walking? 
Suppose a man who lives in a mud hut of bare walls and pushes 
a hand cart and therefore has a lower "standard of living" is not 
necessarily living like a pig, as Occidental tourists constantly 
assume? Suppose he has the culture of a self-respecting man? 
Suppose he believes in paddling his boat instead of riding a 
steamboat chugging its way through the water, all the while 
feeling guilty inside of being corrupted by European standards 
of ease and idleness? Suppose he prefers his wife to make her 
own cloth shoes instead of wearing expensive leather shoes 
that only idle city women can afford ? Suppose he believes in 
mothers nursing their own babies, even in public? Suppose he 
does not think nursing a baby in public is an indecent, im- 
moral, and lewd spectacle, according to the code of Will Hays, 
because the true function of the woman's breasts has not been 
corrupted in him? Suppose he perceives the subtle physiological 
truth that the human body is capable of infinite adjustments, 
that habitual comforts cease to have meaning, and that the 
hard life is probably healthier than the easy life? Suppose the 
Seventh Heaven is in a Parisian attic to be ascended by dingy 
stone stairs ? Suppose it is a human truth that a poor newspaper 
boy is physically, mentally, and morally having a happier child- 
hood than a rich man's son on Park Avenue learning to skate 
with James the Butler and Charles the Doorman holding him 
up by each arm? In other words, suppose material standards 
of living are not worth raising at all at the price of increasing 



EUROPEANIZATION OF THE WORLD 91 

class hatred, increasing collectivism, loss of individual freedom, 
and periodic conscripting of boys of eighteen for war? 

At bottom, I believe, the modern European is as superstitious 
as any Asiatic. The over-all superstition that is an intellectual 
fad in the present era is belief in determinism, and that man is 
primarily an animal, governed, shaped and controlled helplessly 
by material environment. Besides the supreme god of deter- 
minism, there are also some fetishes that the modern man 
worships. I call a superstition any belief in something untrue, 
and I call a fetish whatever a man worships beyond its proper 
value. The three European fetishes are, the Potato Fetish, the 
Population Fetish, and the Power Fetish. For verily these are 
the gods of the modern era. Man is superstitious anyway; take 
away his if(pn and he must^worship something else. Emotion- 
ally, he has to be oriented somewhere. He who does not wor- 
ship something is lost. Even an atheist must worship his 
mistress's ankles. 

It is these three fetishes that are molding men's thoughts 
about the peace, based on the following axioms: (i) Men live 
by potatoes. Metaphysically, man is a biped searching for pota- 
toes, and human civilization is that aggregate historical force 
arising out of the biped's search in the direction of potato 
supplies. (2) The lack of potatoes is the cause of war, and the 
possession of potatoes is the guarantee of peace. The more 
potatoes you have, the more civilized you are, when you can 
spell out happily the word "Prosperity." (3) The technique of 
peace lies in finding and providing the exact ratio between 
populations and potatoes. (4) Those who don't have power 
must grow potatoes, and those who have power may eat, trans- 
port, and otherwise dispose of the potatoes that the others 
grow. (5) As is evident from a natural law, those who have 
power must see that those who don't have power grow enough 
potatoes for the others, or mankind will starve. There must 
be free access to potatoes, there must be economic planning, 
and somebody must rule the world. (6) War will not arise 



92 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

between those who have power and those who don't The 
potato or agricultural group is by nature stationary and pacifist; 
the power or industrial group is by nature aggressive, com- 
petitive, and predatory. Consequently, the members of the 
potato-growing group are very cute and lovable and you may 
now and then pinch their cheeks, but they need not be taken 
into consideration. (7) War will arise, however, from the allo- 
cation among the power groups of the potato supplies raised 
by the nonpower groups. (8) Peace, it follows logically, is 
merely a question of the equitable distribution of potato sup- 
plies among the power groups. (9) Inasmuch as the power 
groups are divided among themselves and by nature suspicious 
of each other and business is by its nature competitive, aggres- 
sive, and predatory, the obvious solution is to keep the power 
so evenly and delicately balanced that none of them will dare 
fire the first shot, although it may be conceded that someone 
may. (10) Since power is dynamic and never static, this balance 
of power can never be permanently maintained; constant ad- 
justments and new alignments are necessary, (n) The tech- 
nique of constantly watching out for a rising or new power 
and making new alignments is called "politics"; the method 
of switching about alignments and double-crossing former 
allies, up to the moment the first shot is fired, is called "diplo- 
macy"; the final upset of that delicate and unstable balance is 
called "war." (12) This is not very satisfactory, but obviously 
there is nothing better. (13) A really satisfactory and a most 
desirable solution would be for one power or combination of 
powers to acquire sufficient power to dominate the rest in some 
sort of World Democracy. If the other power groups or potato 
groups don't like it, what are they going to do about it? We've 
got better guns and more guns. (14) Damn it, we are honest. 
We are "realists" who, tell no "fairy tales" to deceive the people, 
while the others who talk about justice and kindness as if they 
meant it are "visionaries." 
This is the high plane of international thinking about peace 



DEFENSE OF THE MOB 93 

problems in the year of our Lord 1943. It is the sum total of 
our political wisdom. These tenets of thinking, when applied 
to Europe, have produced European chaos and bloodshed for 
centuries. The belief is, however, that when they are applied to 
the world, they will produce World Peace. This is the meaning 
of the Europeanization of the world. 



12 



DEFENSE OF THE MOB 

AM I not painting too somber a picture of the modern world 
and of the content of modern civilization? Have I not over- 
looked something? And have I not exaggerated a bit, or at best 
concentrated on the dark side of things? The reply is of course 
that I have; but I am talking of politics, and politics is the 
dark side of anything; it 13 the seat bottom of any people's 
culture. Every culture has a cheery face, too, besides a pants* 
seat. Perhaps I have been kicking merely at the pants' seat 
alas, a foolish occupation! 

For Europe is a bull, and I am merely its "gadfly" in the 
Socratic sense. Liberals, in my opinion, should be merely gad- 
flies to sting the buttocks of the wise and mighty bull which 
is the state, and thps perform an extremely useful function. 
For the old bull, after having grazed idly in the mountain 
pastures, and getting a little bulky and fat, constantly tends to 
doze off in the midst of danger. Its muscles are a little flabby 
and its hide gets thicker and thicker. The gadfly buzzes and 
buzzes and would give it no rest, and gets hated for its pains 
or perhaps receives a lash from the sweep of the censorial 
oxtail. What matter, if it has delivered its sting and kept the 
old, wise bull awake ? 



94 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

No; rather I am conscious of the hopes and dreams and 
sweet longings and the impulses for good in any people. That 
is why I am writing this book. When you have an ideal beauti- 
ful as a flower, and when you see somebody crush that flower, 
you feel it like a wound in your heart. Millions of men and 
women are feeling that pain also, and even some resentment 
against the person who crushes that flower* 

For every war is a discovery of the people. Dunkirk is a dis- 
covery of the English people; Stalingrad is a discovery of the 
Russian people; Bataan, a discovery of the American people; 
and Chungking, a discovery of the Chinese people. Certain 
truths about the people tend to be continually forgotten and 
are rediscovered only under the stress of war. The people have 
certain qualities that have nothing to do with the workings in 
the dark chambers of high politics, or with the degenerate, 
sophisticated literary circles. There is more truth, kindness, 
heroism, romance, humor, pathos, more depth and richness of 
life in a country doctor's office than in the Foreign Office of 
any nation; and it is of this truth, heroism, romance, and 
humor and pathos that the stuff of life is made, and by which 
the stream of human life is carried on. 

When I see on the screen pictures of Russian peasant women 
helping to defend their country, English air wardens and 
women police and nurses, American women making shoes for 
the army when I see the efforts of the common people, vol- 
unteers, nurses, WAVES, WAACS, workmen, truck-drivers, 
welders, machinists, working at the wheel, at the shipyard, 
the canteen, the factory, the ferry command, I know it is the 
expression of the will of the people, coming out of the good- 
ness of their hearts, and I respect that will and am impressed 
by it. They not only say that they are fighting for a better and 
kindlier world and a better and kindlier society, they believe 
it. And they not only believe it, they want it. They not only 
want it, but passionately desire it, and are willing to fight and 
die for it. 



DEFENSE OF THE MOB 95 

So it is in the United States, and so it is in England and 
China and Russia. The people want peace, a just peace, and 
good will toward men. There is plenty of good will lying about. 
Any people, particularly the illiterate and "ignorant" peasantry, 
have certain old, honorable, sterling qualities, a certain sense 
of right and wrong, of obligation and duty, that they live by. 
The present war is a discovery of the laopaishing o China, of 
the peasants of Russia, the commoners of England, and the 
people, the real people, of America. Not one of them cares a 
rap about imperialism; not one of them does not wish for 
surcease from sorrow and wars and contentions in this world. 
The people want peace. Why can't they have it? 

And here we run into an intellectual dilemma of modern 
democracy. If the people are sound at heart, if they desire 
peace, and if at the same time they are living in a democracy, 
why cannot the will of the people be effective? Has not some- 
body been cheating them, and if so, who? And by what 
method and on what terms are the people of even a modern 
democracy being cheated? Briefly, the answer lies in the fact 
that there is a growing tendency to hand over the government 
of the country to bureaucrats and "experts," and the terms on 
which the people are told to surrender their judgment to them 
are that these experts have "all the facts," which the people, the 
poor laymen, are not supposed to have. This is perhaps natural 
in view of the growing complexity of modern problems, but it 
also means that we are losing faith in the common man an 
unhealthy, undemocratic tendency. 

So I must come to the defense of the mob. The people of 
the modern world are always a little scared of specialist learn- 
ing, particularly of some special "facts," such as the bureau- 
cratic experts say they have and the people do not have. This is 
a curious phenomenon of modern democracy: to shout merely 
"I have all the facts" is enough to scare the people into sur- 
render of all judgment. Although this in itself has nothing to 
do with objective science, the unquestioning respect for "facts" 



96 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

is based on it. By claiming possession of "facts" alone, the 
prestige of science is at once transferred to the bureaucracy of 
the political elite, and a halo of sanctity descends upon it 
Unless the nature of "facts" in human history is critically ex- 
amined and the confusion of the facts of physical science with 
the facts of human society is dispelled, the public in a modern 
democracy will always be at the mercy of the specialists and 
experts, economic and political, and that is the ruin of the 
universe. A layman is a man who suggests that a thing can be 
done, and an expert is one who knows exactly how a thing 
can't be done. Consequently, peace experts are people who try to 
convince you that there can be no peace. Consequently, if you 
leave peace in the hands of the experts, we shall have to go on 
fighting forever. 

Evidently, there is a difference between a physical fact and 
a social or political fact. When we say carbon and oxygen 
combine to form carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide, that 
is a fact, ascertained and final. Take, however, a social fact, 
as in a court trial, for example, in which the best means of 
establishing evidence known to men are applied. The ques- 
tion is whether a man is guilty or not. The facts are reviewed, 
arguments rehearsed, and a summary is given by the judge. 
A jury of twelve sits and deliberates and a verdict is delivered, 
and the accused is pronounced "guilty" or "not guilty." But 
the fact of his guilt is evidently different from the fact of 
carbon dioxide. Probably seven jurors have believed he is guilty 
and five have believed him innocent, whereas it is impossible 
by a vote among scientists to pronounce a substance carbon 
monoxide or carbon dioxide. In strictly scientific terms, the 
"fact" of his guilt would be no more than a fair surmise or 
hypothesis, on fairly ample or insufficient grounds. The differ- 
ence is that the natural scientist can reserve judgment on a 
piece of substance or a phenomenon, whereas in human affairs 
a decision, a choice, has to be made at a given date. 

Again in human affairs, an individual fact may be ascer- 



DEFENSE OF THE MOB 97 

tained or established scientifically, but a social fact is always 
an inference, like the jury's verdict of "guilty" or "not guilty." 
Of course, if a man commits a murder in Times Square and he 
is caught in the act, that is a fact* even a scientific fact. Un- 
fortunately, the "facts" which our diplomats and experts tell 
us they "have" are not of this order, but are primarily judg- 
ments and evaluations of great social forces of a highly complex 
nature. Such facts are always many-sided and multi-colored 
and open to the most diverse interpretations. 

But we are confused; we dare not trust ourselves. Who dares 
challenge the experts' opinions on India, or on the handling of 
North African affairs? Is Gandhi an appeaser, or is he a saint? 
Were the French people of North Africa for Darlan or De 
Gaulle? How can we people ever know? Is it not the part of 
wisdom to reserve judgment? No, the people's instinct is al- 
ways right, for the people always rely on first principles. For 
nothing is plain in this world except first principles. Further- 
more, there are no facts of history that any man ever compre- 
hends in their entirety. Listen to Robert Murphy and to a 
correspondent from North Africa, and you know it can never 
be proved whether the "people" who were for Darlan are the 
royalist rich refugees or the real people of France. Statesmen 
can publish their memoirs and journalists can record conversa- 
tions with all classes of people, and you may be sure that social 
"facts" e.g., the prevalent sentiment in North Africa and how 
it may be brought to light by a strong leadership and what are 
the psychological repercussions in France of alternate policies- 
are a blending of judgments, prejudices/ and piecemeal in- 
formation. Such facts of history are generally as clear to the 
mind of the average diplomat as the surface of the moon is to 
the naked eye. One swears that there is a rabbit, another that 
there is a monkey, and still another that there is a frog in the 
moon. It is of such facts the diplomats speak when they tell 
you they have "all" of them. The fact is, the poor mortals 
sitting in their mouse holes or debating about the rabbit, the 



98 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

monkey, and the frog are as confused about them as we are. 
In fact, they are more confused by the steady gazing and 
squinting at the moon. So when they try to shut you up by 
saying, "I tell you it is a rabbit I know," you -should give them 
the satisfaction of their pride and self-respect, but keep for 
yourself a healthy suspicion that their eyes have been somewhat 
exercised over it. You should reserve for yourself the first prin- 
ciples, which are that there are lights and shadows on the 
moon, and that Darlan and Peyrouton and all Vichyites are 
the shadows while the people of France are the light. If you 
say right is right and wrong is wrong, you may be sure that 
you are right. You know you are the mob, and the mob is 
always right, and be happy about it. 

It has sometimes seemed to me that we don't need the Four 
Freedoms, but only one Freedom Freedom from Humbug. 
The supreme modern humbug is that the mere possession of 
facts is a good excuse and justification for dispensing with prin- 
ciples. Remember only one thing: the experts have all the facts, 
while the people have all the judgment. This faith must not be 
shaken, for when it is shaken, democracy falls into the hands 
of the experts, and when democracy falls into the hands of 
the experts, democracy just falls. For God speaks through the 
people, and through the people alone. 

I have a feeling that God always works through the mob. 
The mob, after all, has a certain Divine Right. My inspiration 
does not necessarily come from the Chinese Eoo\ of History, 
which says, "God listens through the ears of the people 'and 
speaks through the mouth of the people." It comes from an 
intuitive insight and from my observation of history. When 
the mob is resentful, it is God who is resentful. When the mob 
is enraged, be sure God is enraged. When the mob is violent 
and uses the guillotine, it is God who thinks it is time to be 
violent and invent the guillotine. When the mob hesitates, it 
is God who hesitates. And when the mob goes back to its 



DEFENSE OF THE MOB 99 

homes to pursue the daily business of life, it is God who is 
happy. 

Therefore when the public sentiment condemns a public 
policy, it is God who condemns it. When public sentiment 
revolts against Hitler's doctrine of power, it is God who revolts. 
Only be sure that while God works with the mob, the devil 
works through the experts and provides them with "all the 
facts." Who can be sure that the "facts" which American offi- 
cials have about North Africa are not ghosts in the cabinet 
that the devil has put there by his magic? We all enjoy the 
polite fables that in a department store the customer is always 
right, in a monarchy the king is always right, and in a democ- 
racy the Foreign Office is always right. For the people believe 
in honest dealings and the principles of right; diplomats prowl 
in secret like owls at night, and are happiest in darkness. The 
struggle between the people and the diplomats in any nation 
is, and must always be, the struggle between God and the devil, 
between the powers of darkness and of light. Spell "Cliveden" 
backward, and you will find a devil in it. 

It was not the people of England and France who crucified 
the Spanish Loyalists and put them in concentration camps; 
it was their governments that did it. It was not the people of 
England and France who set up the Non-intervention Com- 
mittee and connived at Hitler's and Mussolini's open interven- 
tion; it was their governments. The only real "facts" in the 
situation are that the Cliveden set of England and the Lavals 
of France feared and hated Communism more than they feared 
and hated Hitler, It was not the people of America who em- 
bargoed the supply of oil to Republican Spain; it was the 
Government of the United States of America that did it. It was 
not the people of England who gave Japan a free hand in 
Manchuria and Mussolini a free hand in Ethiopia; it was the 
public officials of the League of Nations who did it. It is not 
the people who wish to delay definition of freedom for the 



ioo BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

people of the earth, after the war and say "Win the war first"; 
it is the governments that are doing so. 

I am not convinced that all the idiots lived in the past and 
the great extraordinary minds live only in the present. History 
has repeatedly proved governments to have been stupid and 
wrong and the moral instinct of the people to have been right. 
If the governments could be wrong in the past decade, they 
can be wrong now. Be a gadfly, therefore,, and sting the govern- 
ments. 

But it is almost a law of human nature that we have all the 
rights and privileges to sting a dead statesman, like Neville 
Chamberlain, but not the living great of this earth. When the 
harm is done and belongs to the past decades, when the suffer- 
ings and wrongs of the people are mere memories, pointing 
out mistakes is a luxury of the reminiscent historian whose 
voice is calm and tinged with an exquisite regret. When the 
mistakes are being committed before our eyes, to point out the 
mistakes and errors of the living great is to arouse all the ire 
of the red-hot patriots. 

In a democracy, however, there is always hope. For leader- 
ship in a democracy always consists in marking time and being 
pushed by the people from behind. There the great leader 
stands, with a glad eye cast on the right and a twinkling eye 
on the left, while he marks time with his steps. If he is pushed 
hard enough from the right, he totters to the left, and if he is 
pushed hard enough from the left, he totters to the right. Only 
thus is he able to lead the people. And if he is successfully 
pushed in the direction we want him to go, we acclaim him a 
"great man." That is why I love democracy, for I enjoy pushing 
around our leaders, and why I detest tyrants, for I resent being 
pushed around. There is hope yet in democracy, for if we the 
people push hard enough this time, out of this war will yet 
emerge one of the greatest leaders of democracy. Someday a 
White Paper will be published, and like the old forgetful actor 
who resented the prompter's voice during the performance, it 



DEFENSE OF THE MOB 101 

will say to the people after the show, "You presumptuous, 
meddlesome fool! I knew perfectly well all the time what I 
was doing." And the people will again say to him like the 
prompter, "Of course, you did. You were, as always, perfectly 
magnificent, Horatio!" 

That is why I am writing this book, to do a little prompting 
and gadfly-stinging and pushing our great leaders toward their 
inevitable Destiny and their Niche in History, And when the 
victory is over, they will smile upon us from the stage with a 
triumphal smile, and we shall acclaim them from below, and 
they will wave their hats in return. But in applauding them, 
we shall be applauding ourselves and we shall be feeling happy 
that they have been gladly pushed in our direction. For if 
democracy has any real meaning, it is that it is we the people 
who shall have won the war let the applause go to our 
illustrious, extraordinary great minds. 

Besides this unhealthy tendency to hand over the government 
of a nation to an impersonal, anonymous political elite, there is 
another purely political device by which the will of the com- 
mon people can be easily defeated or circumvented even in a 
modern democracy. As I watch the interplay of public opinion 
and government policy in the foremost modern republic, the 
United States of America, it is interesting to note that it is en- 
tirely possible for a handful of men, some known and some un- 
known, to get around the will of the people, to carry on with no 
foreign policy, or even with a foreign policy directly contradic- 
tory to the public sentiment of the people. Even with the facili- 
ties of a free press, it always takes considerable time for the 
public to catch up to what the government is doing or not 
doing. This .results in a time lag between public opinion and 
policy, of six months or a year; but by proper application of a 
device, this time lag can be made to cover several years. 

As this time lag between the will of the people and a nation's 
effective policy is not only natural but has become quite a fea- 



102 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

ture of modern republics, let us study some instances and see 
how it works. People may be puzzled about how the popular 
will of American democracy for aid to China could have been 
so successfully and adroitly parried over six years. The working 
of this device will enlighten us. It always took about a year for 
the public to catch on to what President Roosevelt was doing 
and not doing, and for President Roosevelt to catch on to pub- 
lic intolerance of the situation. And here I should make it clear 
that, as a foreigner, I have, as a matter of general courtesy, no 
right to criticize any government not my own in regard to its 
domestic issues and policies. I do think, however, that among 
allies at war, every citizen has the right and the duty to criti- 
cize the conduct of allied governments in matters that concern 
the common war, and particularly in matters that concern and 
affect the war in his own country. I further think that such 
mutual criticism is not only permissible, but decidedly healthy, 
and preferable to a false sense of courtesy. Only in the same 
spirit in which I would welcome criticism from Englishmen 
and Americans of such conduct of the Chinese Government as 
affects the common war, would I presume to say things about 
foreign governments in matters that directly affect my own 
country. In fact, I should be highly appreciative if an Allied 
citizen would point out wherein the conduct of the Chinese 
Government is slowing down the war with Japan and, by such 
frank criticism, lessen the cost of Chinese lives before the war 
with Japan is won. I believe true international understanding 
can be based only on such a frank and healthy exchange of 
opinion. 

When the public was sufficiently aroused over the shipping 
of iron and oil to Japan to bomb Chinese women and children, 
after this had been going on for four years, it was time to take 
some action. A "license" system was invented and the public 
was lulled into silence, on the assumption that the license sys- 
tem was meant to operate in restricting oil and iron to an ag- 
gressor. It took fully a year for the knowledge to penetrate into 



DEFENSE OF THE MOB 103 

the public consciousness that every license the Japanese applied 
for was granted by the State Department and that the total of 
oil shipped to Japan had increased three times instead of di- 
minishing. The public reserved judgment because the State 
Department had "all the facts" and reserved them for their 
own knowledge. In time, this was exposed and stopped. 

Then the Burma Road was permitted to be closed. Public 
sentiment wanted the supplies to China continued, and Presi- 
dent Roosevelt therefore announced that America "would find 
the means" to replace the Burma Road. The public was lulled 
into silence again on the assumption that adequate air trans- 
port was being provided, or at least planned, and the line of 
propaganda was put out that air transport, sufficiently devel- 
oped, could carry the same volume as the Burma Road. As late 
as January, 1943, President Roosevelt tried to lull the public by 
stating a literal truth, that the air transport was carrying into 
China as much as ever traversed the Burma Road. This literal 
truth had the ring of a Pond's Cold Cream advertisement: "She 
is engaged. She uses Pond's." No one dared to specify the ton- 
nage carried in; but I knew, and many Chinese at Kunming 
and correspondents in India knew. The people did not catch on 
to what President Roosevelt meant till a month or two later. 
Now the public knows it. Now the scandalous situation is con- 
ceded; something has got to be done. If an airplane can carry 
one pair of slippers into China, ten airplanes can carry ten 
pairs. But no, the propaganda line is completely reversed. Presi- 
dent Roosevelt and others completely contradicted what he had 
said a year ago. It is being drummed into our ears that the 
Himalayas are too high, every plane has to carry its return fuel, 
there are always rains and storms, and only a land route can be 
satisfactory. Some air transports will of course be added to 
pacify the public, and to be able to say we are flying in more 
"than the last month for which complete reports are available/' 
But we must wait for the reopening of the Burma Road. 

The public is lulled into silence once more by the assumption 



104 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

that plans for recapture of the Burma Road have already been 
set. Besides., General Wavell started the march toward Akyab 
unilaterally to silence the demand for action in Burma. Now 
we are in for another lag, and it will not be till a year from 
now that the public will realize there is no plan and no date 
for concerted action in Burma fully a year after China was 
cut off. The public does not know that concerted action is 
necessary and Burma cannot be recaptured without the co-oper- 
ation of the British Navy in the Bay of Bengal President Roose- 
velt said we would help China as quickly as the Lord will let 
us. The public does not know and President Roosevelt did not 
explain that the "Lord's" name is Churchill and his first name 
is Winston. It will take a year before the idea seeps in. 

Anyway, while the American people are both friendly to 
China and sincere in their wish to help China in this war, the 
policy and acts of their Government are such as to suggest 
complete indifference in the whole six years of the China War, 
both before and after Pearl Harbor. Casablanca also condemned 
China to at least four more years of intense suffering and 
strangulation with the same cold indifference. The fact that 
China was the first to fight the Fascists, that she has fought 
single-handed for six years already, that she is condemned to 
a total of ten years of war with Japan, that in the coming four 
years, the Chinese people will be going through an unbearable 
and steadily mounting inflation, general malnutrition, and a 
double economic blockade by her enemy on the east and her 
friends on the southwest these facts have not bothered the 
heads of western democracies. But, as I told my people in 1940, 
we must distinguish between the American government and 
the American people, even as we must distinguish between the 
German government and the German nation. 

It is fair to point out here that if the same dilatory tactics 
applied to the problem of getting supplies to China had been 
applied to the problem of getting scrap iron and oil to Japan, 
it could have been equally successful, and Japan might now 



DEFENSE OF THE MOB 105 

have a dozen million gallons less of gasoline and seven million 
tons less of first-grade scrap iron to fight America with. On 
the other hand, if getting supplies to China had been handled 
with half the alacrity and cheerfulness with which permits 
for shipments of scrap iron and oil to Japan were granted by 
the American State Department, and if there had been such a 
smooth-running machine for giving aid to China since 1939 
as for giving aid to Japan, China would now already have the 
striking offensive power to drive the Japanese into the sea 
without the sacrifice of American soldiers' lives. 

It should be clearly understood that I am not one given to 
grumbling; when other powers help China, I do not hesitate 
to express my appreciation. In the first years of the China War, 
Russia gave China supplies cheerfully, speedily, and in gen- 
erous volume, and Germany herself gave supplies to China 
cheerfully, speedily, and in generous volume. What had to be 
done was done efficiently. Particularly orders from Germany 
arrived in China in characteristic German fashion, with every 
detail worked out and jprovided for, with full repair parts and 
ammunition and oil for a full year's supply and upkeep for 
each unit, and with blueprints, instructions, and assembly tech- 
nicians. When the hundred American P 40*5 were given to 
China, they were deprived of their radio sets, and a Chinese 
company had to cast about and order their own* And if you 
knew the story of how China was to obtain an assembly man 
for an airplane that arrived somewhere in India, you would 
weep/After September, 1939, China could not get a hairpin 
from Washington without British consent; everywhere she 
ran up against British priority. 

In time of war, there is also an artificial time lag, for, ac- 
cording to our rulers, anything except the arrival of the morn- 
ing sun in the east is a "military secret." There is always a 
sensational hush-hush about something being cooked up in the 
private chambers inside long dark corridors where grown-up 



106 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

men move about respectfully and therefore silently and dare 
only whisper* Like a pale, tender, ailing infant, the foreign 
policy of a nation may be spoken of only in a whisper, and the 
slightest draft of public knowledge will blow out its tender 
young life. Poor infant, there it lies swaddled in stifling clothes 
in an overheated suffocating room, and its father is a man- 
diplomat slithering about in white gloves and patent-leather 
pumps with perspiration on his head. Oh, diplomat-father, 
hand back the baby to its mother, the people. Pull the blinds 
up, so that she may see better* Perhaps the thing in the swad- 
dling clothes being hatched out in the darkness of diplomatic 
and "military" secrecy is only a squeaky little mouse or a young 
chipmunk. 

Wilson was right: there should be no secret diplomacy. And 
Wilson was wrong: there can be no open diplomacy. Let's take 
a look at his "facts" and see how a foreign policy is hatched 
out in the dark without the help of the "mob." 

For thus goes the day of the diplomat. Properly ensconced 
on the top floor and comfortably inaccessible to the public, he 
sits in his hard, upright, high-backed chair that used to belong 
to the nephew of Louis Napoleon. On the side of the room 
there is a long, plain table that comes from a very old Aragon 
family of Spain. The room is richly and, what is more im- 
portant, heavily curtained. There is an atmosphere of complete 
silence, broken by tic'k c tic'k$ from the secretary's room. It is 
insulated from the world, and yet it is not; there is on the 
other hand, an air of intense excitement and power. In a spe- 
cially built enclosure is a wireless telephone that will put him 
in instant touch with some distant continent. 

And this happened: He arrived at half-past nine. The safe 
and tight-lipped stenographer who had looked beautiful twenty 
years ago tiptoed in and whispered, "C. from Brazil has an 
appointment with you and has already arrived." "Show him in 
to Room C," said the diplomat. "The First Secretary is whisper- 
ing there with the Bishop who has a message from the Vati- 



DEFENSE OF THE MOB 107 

can." "Room B, then/' said the diplomat. "Room B is also 
occupied. The military attache is whispering there with Cap- 
tain John of Soimioveria." "Take him to Room A." The elderly 
secretary's brows lifted and she replied, with the pencil on her 
lips, "Are you sure, sir, you want to talk to him there? It faces 
the east and the morning sun shines directly into the room. 
You know only the young stenographers see their callers there, 
and it may be inconvenient." The first great problem of the 
day had already come up, but the day was young and he would 
not be upset. He gave the final instruction, "Show him right in 
here, then!" 

The secretary tiptoed out and C. of Brazil tiptoed in. You 
could have heard a pin drop, and the diplomat heard his own 
stuffed shirt perceptibly move against his underwear as he 
breathed. The conversation began with "It is a bright day, 
isn't it?" and ended with a low whisper, "Ah, very interesting, 
how very interesting!" 

The second and the third interviews ended with more "Ah, 
very interesting's" in still lower whispers. The world in fact 
was getting very interesting, made more interesting by a wire- 
less telephone call from Stockholm. Now it became positively 
amazing. He called Ankara. It was now astonishing. Never in 
one day had he obtained so much interesting information or 
learned so many secrets. He remembered having read some- 
where a Chinese proverb, "A gentleman never steps outside his 
threshold and knows all that is happening under heaven," and 
appreciated its obvious truth. He was sure he knew all the facts 
in fact, he knew too many. He had known all the facts all 
along. What to do with them was the problem. 

About five o'clock in the afternoon, he received another secret 
report from Berne, which his secretaries had just decoded. 
Again he was muttering, "How very interesting!" when he was 
unpleasantly reminded that there was a press conference set at 
5:15. What was he to say? That worried him very much. He 
must not let the cat out of the bag. "Can't you tell them I've a 



io8 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

sore throat?" he asked the secretary, really seeking her advice. 
"That would be a poor excuse. Oh, you big boy, you know 
what to say," said Dorothy adoringly. "I have so many facts 
that I am utterly confused bewildered is the word/' he mut- 
tered, still searching for light. Surveying his well-parted hair, 
Dorothy said, "The inside of your brain appears less orderly 

than the outside Courage, sir, you have handled the rabble 

before. Broad generalities are always safe. And whenever it be- 
comes awkward, there's the war . . /' Dorothy's voice lifted 
toward the end. 

Armed with the air o military secrecy, he went forth to 
battle. He never failed in combat. At the critical moment, he 
barked, "I know all the facts." The argument was unanswer- 
able. The diplomat had all the facts, the press did not have 
them ; the public felt beaten in an unfair game. He could not 
tell the facts, moreover except in a White Paper to be issued 
four years hence which the press correspondents would be at 

liberty to challenge then if they liked So another day began 

and ended, as many days had begun and ended, with a whisper 
in his heart, "Ah, how very interesting!" 

It had been interesting like this years before. The diplomat 
had all the facts in 1931 during the Manchurian Incident. He 
had all the facts during the Spanish War, He had all the facts 
during the war in Ethiopia. He had all the facts when Hitler 
marched into the Ruhr district. He had the facts at Munich. 
He had the facts when the Panay was bombed, when Hainan 
was occupied, when Japan moved into Indo-China, when the 
Pearl Harbor attack was being planned. Alas, nobody questions 
the facts. But what did he do with them. ? 

But if the people are kept behind the facts> events move al- 
ways ahead of diem. Without the first principles which the 
common people have, every new fact and every new event 
bring a new confusion. Let's deal only with the facts and not 
with the first principles win the war first But North Africa 
was invaded and created interesting problems without first 



DEFENSE OF THE MOB 109 

principles to meet them. The Russians drove the Nazis from 
Stalingrad. There was a new problem. The Russians drove past 
Kursk and Kharkov. The shadow of Russia's rising power 
loomed larger. The Russians reached Rostov and passed Rzhev. 
The problem pressed closer home. Will the Russians quit at 
the frontiers? What a problem! Or will they advance to Ber- 
lin? A worse problem still! The exiled government of Poland 
has split with Sikorski. What an interesting fact! Czechoslo- 
vakia's mind is divided. Another interesting fact! Stalin's order 
of the day a fact, yet not so interesting because the public al- 
ready knows it. Von Papen in Ankara. What an interesting 
fact! Stalin is urging the Polish guerrillas to start fighting, 
while the exiled governments in London are urging them not 
to fight and waste their strength for the time being. Another 
interesting fact! Hush, husk. ... So the facts keep chasing 
after the week's rising and fast developing events, the diplo- 
mats keep chasing after the facts, and the people keep chasing 
after the diplomats, and the public is always six months or 
twelve months behind. And our leaders still say, Win the war 
first! Deal only with the facts! 

Facts are always complicated; first principles are always sim- 
ple. Without first principles, the facts overwhelm us and must 
continue to overwhelm us, straight to the day when the Allies 
shall sit down at the Peace Conference table. Facts are un- 
knowable, the only things we can be certain about are prin- 
ciples and ideas. That is why men acting without principles 
must always be confused* The principle of gravitation harmo- 
nizes all heavenly motions; the principle of love harmonizes all 
earthly growth; and only the principles of sincerity and justice 
can solve the problems of world politics. The war calls for a 
moral leadership, a leadership that rests on first principles. It 
calls for a man with the mind of Lincoln, with its simplicity 
and its strength. But we are so busy throwing up and laying 
bricks to build the second and third floors that we are per- 
fectly contented to think about the foundation afterward. And 



no BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

we are surprised that the bricks we laid on with so much pa- 
thetic effort yesterday always threaten to go out of plumb today. 
And so the problem of Russia frightens us. The problem of 
Poland frightens us. The problems of Rumania and Czecho- 
slovakia and the Baltic States frighten us. The problems of 
India and Hong Kong frighten us. Above all the application 
of the Atlantic Charter frightens us. We had meant to win the 
war first, and talk about the peace afterward. But time does 
not wait, and peace refuses to be kept waiting. Time waits for 
no man, not even for democratic leaders. Meanwhile we can 
only pray that God will temper the wind of events to our 
shorn diplomat-lamb. 



13 

THE FUTURE OF ASIA 

UNFORTUNATELY, God will not temper the wind. Poor 
lamb, you'd better grow your wool fast. 

I see nothing but starvation and chaos and bloodshed in 
Asia. I know our policy in Asia will grow into a disaster, with 
mounting confusion before the war is over. In the war coun- 
cils of today,, there is a blind spot, and that spot is Asia. The 
same absent-mindedness that characterized the situation sug- 
gested in General Arnold's speech at Madison Square Garden 
on March 6, 1943, will continue to characterize the Allied pol- 
icy in Asia. As we refuse to think about postwar problems now, 
so we refuse to think about Asia until the war is won- General 
Arnold said, "Six weeks ago at Casablanca ... I headed for 
the Far East. Before departure, President Roosevelt expressed 
himself briefly, 'China's ports are closed, the Japanese hold the 
Burma Road. How can we increase the air tonnage carried in ? 



THE FUTURE OF ASIA in 

How can we build a larger combat force?'" I thought that 
President Roosevelt had known that China's ports were closed 
a year before Casablanca. Thoughtfulness of this type really 
resembles forgetfulness. I thought this must have occurred to 
anyone who ever spent a minute's thought on the strategy of 
fighting Japan from China. How could the most obvious fact 
on the map of the Orient be forgotten, and why up to now is 
there no plan, and no wish for a plan* for China's partnership 
even in the war against Japan? 

Meanwhile, General Arnold in the same speech made it 
amply clear that increase of air transport will be difficult, for 
supplying the China-India front means taking planes out of 
the other fronts. There will be more planes sent to China as a 
gesture to pacify the American public, so that the public will 
be lulled into silence, but the basic policy will be unchanged. 
Everything, we shall be told, will depend upon the reopening 
of the Burma Road, but we are awfully sorry we cannot spare 
the British Navy to land troops at Rangoon. The difficult we 
do immediately, the impossible a little later on. China belongs 
to the impossible. And we adore the Chinese. 

A hurricane will blow. President Roosevelt announces the 
intention to use China as a base to invade Japan the only 
logical base, but between that announcement of intention and 
actual planning, there will be another time lag of years. Events 
will happen and the complex situation will become more com- 
plex still, while we say that nothing in the Far East matters 
until Hider is defeated/The public realizes now that the cut- 
ting off of the Burma Road meant the isolation of China and 
agrees that London was stupid in not permitting Chinese 
troops to come into Burma and defend her own vital line, but 
the public will not admit the stupidity of continuing the pres- 
ent policy of dilly-dallying until either Kunming or Calcutta 
falls. For Japan was listening when President Roosevelt de- 
clared China as the only base for invasion of Japan. Besides, 



ii2 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

the Japanese know the map of the Orient pretty well, even if 
the others don't. 

Meanwhile, where is the mechanism for concerted Allied 
action in Asia? General Doolittle bombed Japan in spite of the 
request of the Government of China that it be delayed a month 
in order to give time for strengthening the Chinese ground de- 
fense of her air bases near Kinhwa. The biggest air base in all 
Asia with underground concrete hangars was needlessly sacri- 
ficed. General Wavell started unilaterally the march toward 
Akyab without consulting Chungking. Where is the mecha- 
nism for concerted action? And why must China's role in 1943 
be decided at Casablanca without her representation? And so 
we must go deeper to the root of the matter. 

The Chinese people as a whole are now convinced that the 
blockade of supplies for China is political and not military. If 
any doubt in Chinese minds existed, it was completely dis- 
pelled by Winston Churchill's speech of March 21, 1943, The 
situation had clarified, England was feeling confident and 
strong. On March 17, four days before, the British Prime Min- 
ister had made it emphatically clear that "the administration 
of British colonies" including India, Burma, the Malay States, 
the Straits Settlements, and Hong Kong "must continue to be 
the sole responsibility of Great Britain." Now he made it 
plainer than ever that Asia was to be kept down as a system of 
colonies. The defeat of Hitler was to be the "grand climax of 
the war/* after which only would begin a "new task/' the war 
with Japan and reconquest of Asia. Then and then only, with 
China kept isolated for years perhaps till after 1945 would 
begin the "rescue of China" from the predicament into which 
the London government had deliberately and according to pur- 
pose thrown China by ordering the Burma Road closed a sec- 
ond time. A "rescued" China then would not be a "leading 
victorious power/' In fact, there will be no "leading" or "great 
victorious" Asiatic "power" at all at the end of the war, so that 
the nest of White Imperialism will be safe. A "Council of 



THE FUTURE OF ASIA 113 

Asia" will be set up, with "our Dutch Allies" and presumably 
the French participating. We may be quite sure that at this 
"Council of Asia" the ruler of the greatest number of Asiatic 
colonies will naturally have the greatest representation, for 
the maintenance of "law, justice, and humanity," 

Now everything fits into a pattern. The blockade of supplies 
for China since 1939 can be understood. The closing of the 
Burma Road and the weakening of China can be understood. 
The refusal to let China have an air force of her own can be 
perfectly understood. From the point of view of imperialist 
strategy, it is superb and masterly. The Empire of Queen Vic- 
toria had no better premier and no more devoted servant, with 
greater sagacity, stronger courage, more far-sighted vision, and 
a better political genius. 

But why this scare about China and about Asia at all ? Asia 
is frightening the Anglo-Saxon powers. By all principles of 
justice, she need not, but by all principles of power politics, she 
does frighten them a great deal. The future of Asia at the peace 
table and after the war seems to me amazingly simple, if we 
follow the principles of justice. On the other hand, I admit the 
same problem looks as complicated as that of Middle Europe 
by all the known principles of power politics. In fact, it can 
look so complicated that it makes a true partnership of China 
at the Allied War Council impossible. By bungling, Asian 
politics can be made complicated enough to look like, and 
actually become, a nightmare. 

Fear, I am told, is one of the greatest driving powers of 
mankind. Ladies are afraid of mice, diplomats are afraid of 
birdies, and I am afraid of diplomats. So why shouldn't the 
diplomats be scared of a mighty Asia? Professor Spykman of 
Yale, for instance, is terribly afraid of a strong and united 
China and of a united and strong federated Europe, and I am 
terribly afraid of Professor Nicholas John Spykman. 

What have we got in Asia as we picture the peace ahead of 
us? Japan has been the upsetting factor. But Japan as a 



ii 4 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

menace will have been eliminated after the war. What then 
have we got in Asia to settle ? There is China, a great pacific 
power, indoctrinated with principles of human, democratic, 
peaceful living that are very close to the American tempera- 
ment. There is India, determined to achieve her freedom, 
which is nobody's business to interfere with, led by a political 
party as strong^ as truly national in character, and as well or- 
ganized as the Chinese Kuomintang, and by as wise, capable, 
patriotic, inspiring, democratic leaders as Chiang Kai-shek. 
China and India have lived as neighbors without one war in 
the past four thousand years* 

There is no background of racial hatreds, suspicions, wars, 
or heritage of national antagonisms such as we find in Europe, 
and the peoples of Asia as a whole are by nature not half as 
aggressive as the Europeans. Russia will not fight China, nor 
will China fight Russia. To the Chinese and to the Americans, 
the future of Asia is simple. There is no problem for the 
United States, because the United States will let the Philip- 
pines go. Other people's jewels don't keep you awake if you 
have no greed in your heart. No insoluble problems exist if the 
Christian powers will let Malaya, the Dutch Indies, Siam, Indo- 
China, Burma, and India go. All of them aspire to self-govern- 
ment, and all of them will give trouble to Europe not when 
they are masters, but only when they are to be exploited as 
slaves. The moment you covet any of their territories and their 
tin and rubber, however, your conscience will irresistibly com- 
pel you to station troops there to prevent communal strife and 
bloodshed, and then all your troubles begin. But whose blood- 
shed ? Will the Javanese or the Indians or the Burmese threaten 
the United States or England? Will not blood be shed because 
the westerners will wrangle and fight for their tin and rubber? 
On such a simple basis, it is possible to take China into im- 
mediate and equal partnership in the war, laying plans together 
and fighting together and dreaming together for some future 
better world. Americans want to kill the Japs, and the Chinese 



THE FUTURE OF ASIA 115 

want to kill the Japs. America hasn't got a Hong Kong or a 
Dutch Indies to worry about, and China hasn't got a worry 
about Indo-China, or Siam, or Burma. China wants to recover 
her own territory, and does not want others' territory. America 
wants no territory at all, not even Kulangsu, my childhood 
home. So let's get together and just kill the Japs as fast as we 
can, and we don't have to worry if we lick the Japs too soon 
or defeat Hirohito before we defeat Hitler. Some may want to 
bomb the Japanese Emperor's palace, and others may not But 
these are minor and inconsequential issues that need not make 
us look beneath the bed before going to sleep at night. 

That is the simple picture, a picture of achievable human 
justice and of a f air prospect of lasting peace in Asia, at least 
as fair a prospect as there has been in South America since the 
downfall of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires. For peace 
is possible in Asia. Peace is possible in North America and 
South America. Peace is possible in Africa. 

Peace is not possible only in Europe. And peace in Asia will 
become impossible only when Asia assumes the European pat- 
tern of balance of power. Of all the five continents of the earth, 
only Europe has not yet learned to live at peace. Europe is the 
focus of infection of this earth, and imperialism is the toxin 
by which it spreads until the whole world is so sick, so sick. 

Now for some good old confusion as some of our Allied 
leaders will have it. If you knew the whole story you would 
not eat a meal in peace, or sleep a wink at night. If I had to 
look beneath the bed every night, I wouldn't want to live. But 
there are people whose minds are otherwise constituted. Not 
one thug, but possibly three or four, are hiding beneath the 
diplomats' beds every night. There are great humbugs and they 
beget little humbugs and they will dance attendance on us all 
our life, if we will believe the diplomats, until we ourselves get 
into the diplomats' proper frame of mind. 

I have said that facts are always complicated and first prin- 



n6 BETWEEN TEA'RS AND LAUGHTER 

ciples are the only things we can be certain about. Let's now 
leave the principles and go after the facts. 

The first feeling is one of terrible uncertainty, for we cannot 
be certain of one knowable fact. What are Russia's intentions ? 
What are China's intentions? As diplomats, we should be pre- 
pared for the worst. If China becomes independent and strong, 
will that not set a bad example for India ? Are you so sure 
China has no imperialist designs ? Do not be too sure, if China 
has an air force of her own, and especially if Japan is com- 
pletely eliminated. So let's see to it that she will not have even 
a baby air force of her own when peace comes, and perhaps it 
is even wise not to knock out Japan completely. What precau- 
tions will the white powers have to take in Asia so that the 
white man will not be completely driven out of the continent? 
Besides, what will happen if by any mishap we defeat Japan 
too early, before Hitler is liquidated and before Europe's 
troubles are solved? Will not American influence predominate 
in Asia as in North Africa at present? Will not the Dutch 
Indies and Burma be left very much to themselves, and a little 
truculent when we settle with Hitler? What will happen to 
Singapore and to Hong Kong when the Japanese evacuate? . . . 

The problem of the colonies is extremely complex. Must one 
really decide now whether Britain is to keep India, Burma, 
Malay, Hong Kong? Either "yes" or "no" to this question is 
very awkward. And if the British must keep their colonies, 
how are we to force the Dutch to give up theirs ? Is it not 
better for war morale in this War for Freedom if we do not 
talk about the problem of the colonies until the war is won, 
when a fighting morale will no longer be necessary? 

As a matter of fact, China and England are already heading 
for conflict. Churchill has made it amply clear and definite 
that he is not "grovelling," and that the "administration of 
British colonies" will be the "sole responsibility" of Britain, 
which is to tell America to keep her hands off. On the other 
hand, Chiang Kai-shek has made it equally definite and clear 



THE FUTURE OF ASIA 117 

that China does not covet others' territory, but wants all her 
own territory back. These two policies must come to a clash 
around Hong Kong. China wishes to negotiate on Kowloon, 
a leased territory opposite Hong Kong, like other leased terri- 
tories in Shanghai and Tientsin. England refuses to open nego- 
tiations. It is thought that dilly-dallying is the best way of treat- 
ing the problem until it explodes by itself. I have no doubt that 
if Britain does not return Hong Kong to China, this problem 
of Hong Kong alone will burst the Peace Conference. I know 
that the Chinese people are willing to go to war with England 
over Hong Kong, even if the Chinese government won't. Chi- 
nese people have freely expressed the opinion that five million 
of our soldiers have not died to keep the British in Hong 
Kong, the booty of the Opium War, and possibly the second 
brightest jewel in the English Crown. 

But really the picture is more complicated than you think. 
There is Russia, the great bugbear of the democracies. Every- 
thing is global nowadays, and we have to think globally. Rus- 
sia refuses to declare war on Japan, and she knows what she 
is doing. Japan will be her trump card, and she will not want 
to play it, but keep it in her hand. What if Russia combines 
with Hitler and Japan ? And what if it is to Russia's advantage 
to keep Japan in the war while she dictates what she wants 
to Europe? The thought occurs to us that if Russia can court 
Japan, why should not some other ally do the same, because 
after all Hitler is our immediate enemy? . . . Besides, if 
Russia wants to keep Japan to knock us out, why shouldn't 
we keep Japan to knock out Russia? Will not the elimination 
of Japan enhance Russia's power in the East? * . . Will China 
not double-cross us and negotiate with Japan? No, that is one 
thing certain at least, thank God! China is honest and depend- 
able, and therefore let's ignore her. . . . Shell have to take 
what we choose to give her. ... If Russia would only say 
something it keeps one on tenterhooks! Besides, there is the 
possibility that Russia may combine with China and India and 



n8 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

control the geopoliticians' Eurasian "Heartland" and half of 
the world's population. That will be the geopolitician's night- 
mare come true! Oh, why doesn't Russia say something? 

And so like Alice in Wonderland, 
the fears grow bigger and 
bigger even as the tones 
fall lower and lower 

until the fears 
themselves take 
on the shape of 
a mouse's tail 
the ugly, filthy 
thing. Anyway 
look, Russia 
is such 
a big 
power 
China 
also 
is go- 
ing 
to be 
a big 
pow- 
er 
you 
can- 
not 
af- 
ford 
to 
let 
Ind- 
ia 
go 



THE FUTURE OF ASIA 119 

But above all, China herself is the biggest problem. The 
deeper tendencies of power-political thinking, or statesmanlike 
foresight according to power politics, already pose an insol- 
uble difficulty. As Professor Spykman warns us, "A modern, 
vitalized and militarized China of 450,000,000 people is going 
to be a threat not only to Japan, but also to the position of the 
Western Powers in the Asiatic Mediterranean." "The preserva- 
tion of the balance of power will then be necessary not only 
because of our interest in strategic raw materials [rubber and 
tin] but because of what unbalanced power in this region could 
do to the rest of the world." 18 Hence, according to Professor 
Spykman, in order to set up such a highly desirable balance of 
power in the Far East, "the United States will have to adopt a 
similar protective policy toward Japan" as she adopts toward 
England. However, we are caught at present in the contradic- 
tory and illogical position of helping China, our potential 
enemy, to crush Japan, our potential friend in the Far East 
This is confusion worse confounded. Hence we must help 
China to be strong enough not to be completely knocked out 
of the war, but not strong enough to stand on her feet after 
the war and challenge others, while we must crush Japan 
enough to win the war and not crush her enough so that she 
cannot revive and recover her power. 

If further confusion is desired, I can offer some. Even Profes- 
sor Spykman's proposal of planning for a half-strong and half- 
weak China and a half-strong and half-weak Japan does not 
insure complete security. That these two nations may be so 
cunningly manipulated that they will keep on fighting each 
other and exhausting each other for the West's benefit is con- 
ceded. It is conceivable, however, that decades from now, Japan 
and China may one day stupidly wake up to the Professor's 
clever trick, and realize that they have been set upon one 
another by the Yale Professor. Nothing so unites two enemies 
as the knowledge that they have been the common victim of a 

18 Nicholas John Spykman, America's Strategy and World Politics, p. 46*9. 



120 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

tliird mischievous party. By the time Professor Spykman's 
high politics prevail in the postwar world, nations will so groan 
in disillusionment and the spirit of true world cooperation 
will be such a forgotten thing that economic and political 
autarchy will be the basic policy of every nation. 

The combination of two half -strong nations may neverthe- 
less produce one fully strong power. In fact, writers who insist 
on Anglo-American domination of the Pacific areas are pro- 
ceeding upon this theory. They must see to it that no rap- 
prochement between Japan and China will ever be permitted. 
This, however, can only be done by putting China under mili- 
tary surveillance. On the other hand, China will equally de- 
mand putting England under military surveillance because a 
rapprochement between England and Germany is much more 
likely than a rapprochement between Japan and China. It is 
China's business to see that England and Germany do not get 
together, because every time that happens, a military Germany 
is resurrected and another World War is produced. China has 
as much right to demand security in Europe as England has to 
demand security in the Far East. . . . The Chinese are cour- 
teous, but not fools. They do not play power politics, but when 
others play it they understand it very well. 

Such are the necessary and inevitable consequences of think- 
ing on lines suggested by our power-politicians. These are they 
who pride themselves on "realism" and call us, the people, who 
believe in the other simple picture of the future' of Asia, de- 
luded fools or visionaries. That is what the picture of the 
future of Asia looks like in terms of power politics, when we 
transfer our power-political thinking to Asia. 

Such may be the "f acts" the diplomats are referring to when 
they say they "know" them, or they may not. One thing is 
certain, viz., that none of the above "facts" are known or know- 
able. In the dark, anything that moves may be a mouse's tail. 
In any case, these are facts which are yet to be produced as 
consequences of our own acts and created by our own choice* 



PEACE BY POWER 121 

They are not the objective facts of physical science, and should 
not share the same scientific prestige. But it is exactly on this 
type of facts that diplomatic thinking is based, diplomatic 
fears are generated, and the gall of diplomatic courage is being 
ruined. It is on the basis of such unknown and unknowable 
facts that the policy has been established that China must be 
kept away from any Allied War Council, must be given no 
air force of her own, and Japan must not be defeated too early, 
and that a year and a half have elapsed after Pearl Harbor 
without the Allies coming to a formulated co-ordinated strate- 
gic plan for fighting Japan. It is on the basis of such generated 
fears that we are prevented from fighting together and dream- 
ing together for a better world. 

The illiterate shepherds of Asia Minor two thousand years 
ago heard or related that "Good will toward men" had some- 
thing to do with "Peace on earth/* but the twentieth-century 
man has advanced scientifically so far that he cannot see the 
connection, and has descended into confusion. Did Confucius 
not warn us, "A nation without faith cannot stand"? The same 
is true of the world. 



Ill SYMPTOMS 

14 

PEACE BY POWER 

FROM here on, we'll leave the problem of the future of Asia, 
and delve into the problem of the future of the postwar world. 
Or rather, we shall never leave it, for the world is one, and 
nowhere can you escape Asia. We shall probe from the surface 
techniques of the offered solutions, deeper and deeper down 



122 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

into the sores of men's thinking, until we find the rot within, 
the despondency of spirit which darkens men's minds in this 
generation and hangs over it like a shroud, and see, as with an 
X-ray machine, the leprous growths and misformations which 
disfigure the spiritual physiognomy of man of this age. 

Ultimately, the problem of peace is the problem of the na- 
ture of man. The issues of peace and war revolve upon the 
questions, what man has made of man, and what man can 
make of man, as Professor Hocking puts it. 19 

Lest I be accused of inventing an imaginary bugaboo with 
no relation to actual current postwar thinking and planning, 
I must substantiate the picture. 

The material evidence exists in rather uncomfortable abun- 
dance. The Clarence Streits and Norman Angells are all not 
so much for world co-operation as they are against American 
isolation. Security and freedom and co-operation have been 
lugged in to make the case for Anglo-American domination of 
the world picture. The Lionel Gelbers and Stephen King- 
Halls are unashamed in proclaiming either that this is a "war 
for power" or that the world police must be an Anglo-Ameri- 
can "peace force/' while other nationals in that police must 
swear allegiance to the Commander-in~Chief and therefore to 
the King of England and the President of the United States. 
Ely Culbertson revels in the mathematics of an international 
omtract bridge, while Stephen King-Hall does the same with 
hif Anglo-American "peace force." All agree in a regretful 
tone that some concession must be made to the non-English- 
speaking powers, so that it may have the appearance of an 
"international" world order. But there is no hiding the tone 
of patronizing concession and regret. 

I am proud of Harvard postwar thinking, of Professors Wil- 
liam Ernest Hocking and Ralph Barton Perry and President 
Conant. I admire the clear thinking and broad vision of Vice- 
President Wallace and Wendell Willkie. But for every concrete 

w William Ernest Hocking, What Man Can Ma\c of Man (Harper). - 



PEACE BY POWER 123 

proposal for building a postwar world structure genuinely in- 
spired by the conception of a world brotherhood, there are at 
least twtf based on power politics and the tacit assumption of 
Anglo-American domination by force over the entire world. 

There is a war about the peace going on now. For the 
United States and her Allies are now standing at the cross- 
roads: one leading to a sound and stable world order based on 
equality and co-operation of all nations, and the other leading 
to world mastery or world domination through sheer military 
force by America in the exclusive company of Britain. These 
two tendencies are basic and contradictory, but on the surface 
at least world mastery must be passed off as world co-operati<Mi 
or world federation, and so the two tend constantly to m^rge 
and work for the progress and happiness of mankind. w;/f 

Only once in a while do we find a Lionel Gelber who couie^ 
out definitely for a "war for power": "In reality the mnr Is 
one for power for power of the Democracies before it %$ a 
power for democracy itself" 20 Mr. Gelber is for the Versailles 
Treaty "No new Versailles? No new Versailles for whom?" 
He is for maintenance of the status quo, and regrets that even 
Sumner Welles joins in the "vilification" of the status quo. He 
is even for the future of humanity "belonging" to the two 
Anglo-Saxon powers: "What must settle the future of mankind 
is to whom it belongs and how it is used. In the hands of Ae 
west, even though they falter, power will be employed 1 oni 
fashion; in German hands, it will be employed in.anotii0/ 
This contrast so pleases him that he exclaims, ". . . none but 
the frivolous still can wonder what the war is all about." Finally 
Mr. Gelber pretends not to understand the "paradox," which he 
regards as exceptionally "odd," which is "the tacit assumption 
by friend and foe alike that to call it a struggle between rival 
imperialisms is to belittle the Allied cause. ... It all depends 
upon whose imperialism you are talking about," he shouts, 

20 For this and following quotations* see Lionel Gelber: Peace by Power, pp. io 
58-60, 68, 130, 140. 



BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

gently reminding his readers that while an Italian imperialism 
"would be execrable, the reinforcement of American imperial- 
ism , . . mil be acclaimed by all levelheaded, free men every* 
where." I thought when he wrote the word "level-headed/ 5 it 
was sufficient recommendation of his point of view; the juxta- 
position of "free men" there seems at the least tautological, 
for by definition "free men everywhere" would acclaim im- 
perialism anyway. 

Mr. Gelber, I suspect, is young, or he is inspired; other ma- 
ture heads are more cautious. Concessions are made, and will 
be made, for the participation of powers other than the United 
States and Britain in the world government and this always 
in & condescending tone. On this most agree* Mr, Stephen 
|ybg-Hall is more circumscribed ia explaining the existence 
of in Anglo-American "peace force": 

The British and American Governments would not 
wish to deny to any power of goodwill the privilege of 
partaking in the chastisement of the aggressor* All they 
intend to do is to make themselves responsible for the 
maintenance of a force large enough and efficient enough 
in all circumstances to do the job, with or without assist- 
ance. 21 
* '' * 

f Prd|essor Spykman speaks with scholarly caution in words, 
S^Jjjpis without scholarly caution in thoughts, on the hege- 
mony of England and America: 

Both in England and in the United States, there is talk 
of a world order based on American-British hegemony. 
The theme appears in several variations, from Mr Streit's 
Anglo-American union to looser forms of alliance and 
entente. The Anglo-American Federalists present their 
program as a first stage in the creation of a world federa- 

a Stephen King-Hall: Total Victory, p. 319. 



PEACE BY POWER 

tion and they concede that other states, upon certificate 
of good behavior, will eventually be permitted to join. The 
fact remains, however, that in the meantime the union 
is expected to function as a hegemony. 22 

Professor Spykman was not the first enlightened modern to 
think of this hegemony-widiin-federation idea; the Delian Con- 
federacy under Pericles carried it out two thousand years ago, 
to the complete destruction of all Greece. 

But this is getting into tiresome arguments on generalities, 
which level-headed men hate. Let's have some wizard figures. 
Figures cleanse the air of our thought, for we are told they 
make our thinking mathematical and exact, and that is after 
all what a college education is for. The editor of the famous 
King-Hall News Letters goes to the trouble of working out 
some clear and awe-inspiring figures for us. Article 3 of "The 
Anglo-American Proclamation to Mankind," to be issued by 
the President of the United States and the English King reads: 

Therefore the President and the King have undertaken 
to establish a joint British-American Fleet and Air Force. 
The strength of the Fleet will be in all respects three 
times that of the next largest fleet afloat at any given 
moment and not less than twice as strong as any combina- 
tion of any other three forces* 

Article 4 reads: 

The strength of the Air Force will be not less than four 
times as great in all respects as the next largest air force 
and twice as strong as any possible combination of two 
other air forces. 

Article 7 reads: 

Eighty per cent of the personnel of the British-American 

9 Nicholas John Spykman: America's Strategy m World Politics, pp. 458-459. 



126 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

Fleet and Air Force will be British and American citizens. 
Foreign subjects shall be eligible to enlist ... up to a total 
of 20 per cent of the whole establishment of each force. 
Foreign subjects desirous of serving in the Peace Force will 
be required to take an oath of loyalty to the Commander- 
in-Chief of the branch of the Peace Force in which they 
enlist. 23 

Soul of Pericles again! 

Suppose the modern Sparta would not agree? Mr. King-Hall 
has a ready answer, which seems as simple as Hitler's own 
arithmetic. 

Provided the American and British Governments make 
it clear that whatever those countries decide to do, the 
English-speaking peoples intend, as it were, "to double the 
number first thought of," we doubt whether the other 
great Powers would take up the challenge in an arma- 
ments race in which they were bound to be defeated. 

Tell that to the United States Congress; tell it to the Marines! 

The cutting up of the world between "English-speaking peo- 
ples" and "non-English-speaking peoples" is now perfect God 
always works with opposites, like electrons and protons* The 
world cannot be thoroughly annihilated except by dividing 
it into two big armed camps. Neither Germans, nor French- 
men, nor Italians, nor Spaniards, nor Swedes, nor Czechs, nor 
Poles, nor Russians, nor Chinese, nor Indians, nor Turks hap- 
pen to speak English. What a thought! What obscenity of 
mind! 

We cannot escape history, nor can we learn from history. 

a Stephen Kktg-Hall, Total Victory, p. 215. 



A PHILOSOPHY OF PEACE 127 

15 

A PHILOSOPHY OF PEACE 

THAT grown-up men today, well educated and well informed, 
should talk and think in such simple-minded fashion is alarm- 
ing. Perhaps God cuts short the span of animal and plant 
life in order that the world may be perpetually young. Repro- 
duction is merely God's method of perpetual rejuvenation of 
the species. My mind is young yet in spite of my years will 
someone answer for me the puzzling question: How can there 
be a pile of dry gunpowder, a well-connected fuse, a box of 
burning matches near by, and no explosion? It is rather the 
Sphinx that is asking that question, and when anyone answers 
it she will jump into the sea. I am willing to be the hostage 
for it. . * . 

The question which we must solve once for all, by some 
sort of new philosophy of peace, which we may not leave un- 
solved, is really this: does Force work? All over the world 
men and women should ponder this question. If Force is thor- 
oughgoing, it arouses resentment and hatred in human beings 
to whom it is applied and corrupts the human beings who 
apply it: it therefore invites more use of Force and must end 
in sheer brutality, as Nazi Germany has found out. If Force 
is not thoroughgoing, does it not, according to the doctrine of 
Force, immediately show signs of "weakness" which leaves 
room for the politics of appeasement, cajolery, yielding, com- 
promise, pacifying measures, buying loyalty from neutral pow- 
ers in order to draw these into its own orbit of power in other 
words, does it not imply the alternate use of firmness and con- 
cession, which can be equally fatal in the re-arming of subject 
nations as in the case of resurrected Germany after Versailles? 
Be firm to the end and you hang yourself; be not firm to the 



128 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

end, and you also liang yourself. The first variation in the use 
of Force is destroying Japan and Germany. The second varia- 
tion destroyed the League of Nations and Ancient Greece. 

Who will make plain to the world the law of the spirit, and 
demonstrate that Force generates Coercion, Coercion generates 
Fear, and Fear generates Hatred, as definitely and as accurately 
as one billiard ball sends another rolling? Who will write a 
philosophy and psychology of Force and its reactions and 
determine their characteristics ? Who will be the consummate 
fatalist to tell the world in plain, convincing, forceful terms 
that actions generate emotions and emotions in turn generate 
actions, that the fruit of Force is Fear and Hatred, that thor- 
oughgoing Force generates Fear and Hatred and unthorough- 
going Force generates Hatred without Fear? Who will say, 
even as in a classroom in physics, that the greater the Force, 
the greater the Hatred, and that the greatest Force is the most 
hated of all? And who will say, as clearly as the prophets of 
the sky say that a thunderclap presages a storm, that Force is 
inevitably followed by Hatred, and Hatred is followed by 
Revenge? For Hatred divides, and the structure of power must 
sooner or later fall. 

In ignorance of such simple and self-evident moral laws, 
Pericles alternately threatened by force and cajoled by oratory 
the other Greek states. And after his death, Cleon the leather 
merchant, Eucrates the rope-seller, and Hyperbolus the lamp- 
maker babbled. They were all good democrats and Cleon was 
a good general It was left only for the insolent public idol, 
Alcibiades, to complete the suicide of Greece. 

But such laws, being the laws of God, are manifest to the 
mind of the simple man, requiring no proof. Therefore, he who 
would be strong within must guard against the use of power, 
for only then is he safe from corruption within and hatred 
without. And only he who is free from corruption within and 
hatred without can be strong eternally. Laotse says, "For love is 



A PHILOSOPHY OF PEACE 129 

victorious in attack and invulnerable in defense. Heaven arms 
with love those it would not see destroyed." Therefore he says: 

Of all things, soldiers are instruments of evil, / 

Hated by men. 
Therefore the religious man avoids them. 

Soldiers are weapons of evil; 

They are not the weapons of the gentleman* 
When the use of soldiers cannot be helped, 

The best policy is calm restraint. 

Even in victory, there is no beauty, 
And who calls it beautiful 

Is one who delights in slaughter. 
He who delights in slaughter 

Will not succeed in his ambition to rule the world. 
The slaying of multitudes should be mourned 

with sorrow. 
A victory should be celebrated with the Funeral Rite; 



24 



Those who love America and England and wish them to be 
strong forever must read Laotse again and again, for they will 
gain thereby the secret of immortal strength, exempt from cor- 
ruption within and invulnerable from attack without. Let 
America be great, even as the great river of life: 

The Great Tao flows everywhere, 
(Like a flood) it may go left or right 

The myriad things derive their life from it, 
And it does not deny them. 

When its work is accomplished, 
It does not take possession. 

84 For this and following quotations see Wisdom of China and India, pp. 600-602, 
617, 622. 



130 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

It clothes and feeds the myriad things, 

Yet does not claim them as its own . . 
Because to the end it does not claim greatness, 

Its greatness is achieved. 

How did the great rivers and seas become the Lords 

of the Ravines ? 
By being good at keeping low. 
That was how they became the Lords of the Ravines. 

Therefore in order to be the chief among the people, 

One must speak like their inferiors. 
In order to be foremost among the people, 

One must walk behind them. 
Thus it is that the sage stays above, 

And the people do not feel his weight; 
Walks in front, 

And the people do not wish him harm. 
Then the people of the world are glad to uphold 

him forever. 

Because he does not contend, 
No one in the world can contend against him. 

I am not worried lest America may not be able to assert a 
leadership of force and power; I am worried lest she may. I 
am concerned to see America assume a moral leadership, a 
leadership of humility, so that the world may pay her glad 
homage and uphold her forever. Like the great river that nour- 
ishes life along its valley, she shall by the exuberance and 
richness of her life be a blessing upon the peoples of the earth. 
She shall stay above, and the world shall not feel her weight; 
she shall walk in front and no one will wish her harm. For 
she shall then lead in kindness and unselfishness and justice 
and by that secret of unused power bring a new era of brother- 
hood to mankind. No one can dethrone her because of her 



A PHILOSOPHY OF PEACE 131 

power for goodness, and no one can take away from her, be- 
cause she does not take possession, She shall not contend, and 
no one in the world can contend against her, and because she 
takes no credit, the credit can never be taken away from her. 
This is my Dream America. Will it come true? 

Man has done it before. Abraham Lincoln did it. George 
Washington did it. In a world of evil chaos, great men have 
stood up and with the strength of their goodness and their 
simplicity and the innocence of youth proclaimed that the 
good in men can outweigh the evil, and they have acted upon 
that assumption. For there are periods in history when the 
Good Fairy ruled, while others were ruled by the Wicked 
Fairy. Sometimes the good influence was in the air, and men 
and women submerged their selfishness and felt as on the dawn 
of another era, and the golden horizon was visible, when 
faith caught their vision and warmed their hearts and 
strengthened them. Then the good impulses of men prevailed. 
And there were other periods, of chaos and cynicism and 
despair, when the petty spirits of the age prevailed. Then faith 
sounded hollow, and idealism bowed its head in shame and 
seemed strangely out of place. Such periods presaged the ruin 
of a regime or a culture. The moral strength to lift oneself 
to a higher plane than mankind's predecessors was not there 
because the moral fibers had become flabby and weakened by 
a shallow cynicism. Then darkness fell. And between the two, 
the difference was that between Faith and Despair. 

But a spiritual softening of tone is necessary for this Age, 
when men's minds are made in the image of steel. The harsh- 
ness must go off, its crudities must be purged and purified as 
in a crucible, and a mellower way of thinking and reasoning 
must prevail. The leaven of the Sermon on the Mount has 
softened man's ways in social living in the Christian world; 
it is the only thing that holds the society of western men to- 
gether whether in the country or the town, and softens the 
hardness of aggressive men. Somehow the Bible at times 



132 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

still terrifies the thug. But Christianity has no influence over 
world politics. There are plenty of raw lumps in the dough of 
Christendom, though it has been mixed for two thousand years 
with the leaven of Jesus. A good housewife would perhaps add 
a pinch of Laotse and hasten the process. 

For man's spirit lives in a high nervous tension because 
arterio-sclefosis has set in. The high-pressured march and con- 
flict of forces has the terrific power of steam. The blast furnace 
roars, molten, white-hot, gleaming, liquid steel flows over and 
splatters about, and amidst the steady hum of booming, buzz- 
ing, clicking and clanking machines, giant iron crab-pincers 
snap and clang, huge drums slide and roll and swing overhead, 
and the slightest false step may mean the loss of an arm or 
a life. Metal, metal, metal liquid, glowing, hardening, black- 
ening metal. In the roaring and clangor before the blast fur- 
nace, man tries to think, furiously, at high temperature, and 
his thoughts partake of the metallic ring, while he is afraid 
of himself and of his power. A little reading of Laotse will do 
him good and take the hardness out of his heart and the glint 
out of his eyes. 

When man is born, he is tender and weak; 

At death, he is hard and stiff. 
When the things and plants are alive, they are soft 

and supple; 

When they are dead, they are brittle and dry. 
Therefore hardness and stiffness are the 

companions of death, 

And softness and gentleness are the companions 
of life. 

Therefore when an army is headstrong, it 

will lose in battle. 

When a tree is hard, it will be Cut down. 
The big and strong belong underneath. 
The gentle and weak belong at the top. 



PEACE BY POINT RATIONS 133 

16 

PEACE BY POINT RATIONS 

LET'S go back to the wizard of figures, Ely Culbertson. Per- 
haps Euclid and Pythagoras can help us and with their figures 
establish a peace for us. What charms me in Culbertson's plan 
is his precise mathematical reasoning and the matching of a 
clear mind against big problems. The question is what can be 
done with sheer mathematics, with a peace-point-ration system. 

It is fair to caution the reader against mixing up Mr. Cul- 
bertson with those power politicians. He has studied mass 
psychology, but he is not a professor of psychology* nor is he 
a politician; he is an unpretentious thinking man like you and 
me, and a man of uncommon intelligence and clear thinking. 
If Euclid or Pythagoras could save us, Culbertson will* More- 
over,, Mr- Culbertson has a lot of common sense. He is able 
to see the inherent danger of international coercion and resent- 
ment arising from the existence of an international police 
force that serves as the cloak of sectional, national domination, 
the greatest danger of all schemes for a police force, and he 
is concentrating his thinking on the elimination of that psy- 
chological danger. We feel here a sense of fairness and good 
will to start with. His presentation of clilemmas, remedies, 
and comments is clear, lucid, and precise* That is why I am 
discussing it as one of the most attractive schemes of world 
co-operation. Besides, playing a game of international bridge 
is fun: it exercises the brains. 25 

We are not going into a full examination of the "World 
Federation Plan/' It has a "World Armament Trust," a "World 
President," "World Trustees/' "World Judges/' and "World 

35 Ely Culbertson, The World Federation Plan (The World Federation, Inc.). Dis- 
tributed by Garden City Publishing Co. 



134 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

Senators." It lias a "World Constitution" and plans for three 
time periods: the "War Period/' the "Armistice Period/' and 
the "Postwar Period/' the first two periods being under % 
"Provisional Government." It has a "World Territorial Table/' 
dividing the world into eleven "Regional Federations/' in- 
cluding "sovereign two-way states" (like Switzerland, Danzig) 
and "Autonomous Regional Federations" (the Indian and the 
Malaysian). 

But the most distinctive feature of the plan is the "Quota 
Force Principle" which is mathematics. Each Regional Fed- 
eration would have a "National Contingent/' and there would 
be an additional "Collective Quota/ 5 the "Mobile Corps/ 1 
owned by all the member Regional Federations, which is like 
a "joker/' or better, like the "widow" at poker, that all hands 
can count as their own. 

The dilemma that Mr. Culbertson is trying to solve is how 
to harmonize the existence of the "World Police" with national 
sovereignty. He solves It by the interesting formula that while 
the national contingents are all parts of the "World Police" 
in time of war, in time of peace each is a national force polic- 
ing its own territory, and no foreign national contingent may 
step into its territory. Furthermore, since these "National Con- 
tingents" form a "World Police" by pooling their strength, 
each contingent is adequate for defense of its own territory, 
and none is adequate for attacking others with any chance of 
success* 

THE QUOTA PRINCIPLE OF WORLD POLICE 

Regional 

National Contingent Federation 

Quota oj Initiating State Where Stationed -Represented 

20% United States United States; Leased American 

Bases in Western Hemi- 
sphere Islands and in 
Malaysian Federation 

15% British (including British Empire; leased British 

English-speaking Do- Bases in Indian Federa- 
minions) tion 



PEACE BY POINT RATIONS 

THE QUOTA PRINCIPLE OF WORLD POLICE Cont. 



National Contingent 
Quota of Initiating State 

15% Russian 
4% French 

4% German 

4% Polish 
4% Turkish 
4% Chinese 

4% Indian (provisionally 
selected under British 
Command) 

3% Malaysian (provision- 
ally selected under 
American Command) 

2% Japanese 

Mobile Corps 

22% All member-states not 
listed above (non-ini- 
tiating states) 



Where Stationed 


Regional 
Federation 
Represented 


U. S. S. R. 


Russian 


France 


Latin-European 
(Latin) 


Germany 


Northern European 
(Germanic) 


Poland 


Middle European 


Turkey 


Middle Eastern 


China 


Chinese 


India 


Indian 



Malaysian Federation 



Japan 



Two-way states and 
strategic islands owned 
by the World Federa- 
tion 



Malaysian 



Japanese 



All the member Re- 
gional Federations 
(Collective quota) 



ILLUSTRATIVE TABLE OF THE QUOTA FORCE PRINCIPLE 



Initiating 
State 



Quota 



United States 20% 

Britain ...... 15% 

Russia 15% 

Germany 4% 

France 4% 

Poland 4% 

Turkey 4% 

China 4% 

India 4% 

Malaysia 2% 

Japan . . 2% 

Mobile Corps 22% 

(Collective Quota) 

Total 100% 









Battleships 


National 






or Aircraft 


Troops 


Planes 


Tanks 


Carriers 


400,000 


10,000 


20,000 


20 


300,000 


7,500 


15,000 


15 


300,000 


7,500 


15,000 


15 


80,000 


2,000 


4,000 


4 


80,000 


2,OOO 


4,000 


4 


80,000 


2,000 


4,000 


4 


80,000 


2,000 


4,000 


4 


80,000 


2,OOO 


4,000 


4 


80,000 


2,OOO 


4,000 


4 


40,000 


1,000 


2,000 


2 


40,000 


1,000 


2,000 


2 


440,000 


II,OOO 


22,OOO 


22 



2,000,000 



50,000 



100,000 



ICO 



136 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

The cards being dealt out, let's sit down to play the inter- 
national contract bridge game. The merit of this mathematical 
distribution of forces, according to its author, is the following: 

The quota mechanism not only eliminates military dic- 
tatorships and wars between single nations; it eliminates 
wars between alliances or coalitions of nations. On the 
basis of the Quota Force Principle, it is impossible to point 
out any politically conceivable combination of nations 
which could conduct a war of aggression against the re- 
maining nations of the World Federation without being 
decisively outnumbered. 

Let us assume the most powerful (although the least 
likely) combination of nations some years after the World 
Federation "is founded: The United States, Great Britain, 
and Germany decide to rebel against the World Federation 
and to conquer the World. Without the Quota Force Prin- 
ciple, there is no question but that this coalition of powers 
could easily dominate the world. With the Quota Force 
Principle, the joint Quota of these three nations would be 
only 39%* Against them there would be lined up Armored 
Forces of planes, tanks, and warships totaling 61%, of 
which 22%, the Mobile Corps, would be the Shock Troops. 
Before England and Germany (19%) would have time to 
develop their industrial potential into a military potential, 
they would be overwhelmed, isolating the United States 
with its 20%. 

Let us reverse the situation and assume a communist- 
dominated Europe and Asia, in revolt against the World 
Federation and the Anglo-Americans. Without the World 
Federation, a Communist Japan, China, Poland, Russia, 
Germany, and France, lined up against the AngloAmeri- 
cans, would automatically result in a Third World War. 
With the World Federation, the Quotas of the rebel com- 
munist nations would total only 33% against the 67% 



PEACE BY POINT RATIONS 137 

total of the Mobile Corps, the Anglo-Americans, and the 
other Contingents of the World Police. 

In other words, no one will have a grand slam. The cards 
are, in f act, so dealt out that no one will bid at all. If mathe- 
matics will give us a peace, this plan will do so. If the cat 
can be belled, if Russia will accept the cards dealt out to her, 
if no card-player nods, if all the players are equally skillful, 
or equally reckless, or equally cautious, or equally honest, or 
equally good at making passes to neighbors or slipping cards 
from their sleeves, above all, if all the players love and trust 
one another, there should be no bid and no play at all. If there 
are no upsetting factors like different national psychologies, 
national ambitions, and cultural traditions, if eternal vigilance 
can be kept up, if the "World Government" is able to act 
promptly and despatch the "Mobile Corps" instantly, if it will 
not appoint another Lyttoa Commission to take a year to make 
a report for the purpose of being filed, if it is easy to define 
"aggression" and "defense/' if there is not the question of in- 
dustrial potentials, if there is no question of commercial avia- 
tion, if all people are equally aggressive or equally satisfied 
with what they have, if no nation secretly rearms or openly 
defies and denounces the quota system, if the different "Na- 
tional Contingents" and the "Mobile Corps" are equidistant 
from the point of conflict, if there are no questions of sea and 
land transportation to distant continents, and if all are avail- 
able at a moment's notice, if no state member hesitates or 
remains neutral at the call of duty, if there are, for instance, 
no internal factions in Czechoslovakia or between Czechoslo- 
vakia and Poland when Russia or Germany rebels, if above all, 
no single nation dominates the "World Government," if the 
"World Judges" do not take orders from the big powers, if 
the "World Senate" could not be captured from within, if the 
big powers would refrain from manipulating the "World 
Government" into their private machine as they did with the 



I 3 8 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

League of Nations, if there are no problems of corruption and 
failing enthusiasm and division of mind and even change of 
mind among the powers, if there is no selfish disposition of 
the "Mobile Corps," if there is no underhanded manipulation 
and control of important strategic material, if there is no 
progress in chemical industry, no development of new weapons 
undefined, if there is a guarantee that national sentiments in 
the different states will not change, if there is no selfish isola- 
tionism, if economic autocracy does, not set in in any one state, 
if there is indeed justice, and if there is no racial discrimination, 
then we shall indeed have a fair prospect of peace by this 
plan. In other words, if this is a mechanical game and the 
cards are cards, and not quarrelsome, fickle-minded, and always 
progressing human beings, the game will never be played and 
the cards will remain as they are dealt out at the beginning. 
Then, thank Heaven, we shall have no war! 

We might conveniently take this quota table for the study 
of how complicated psychological factors underlie plain arith- 
metic. There is no question that the quota table will be accept- 
able to the United States army and navy experts, and fairly 
acceptable to British experts. But why should Russia, with a 
greater territory and bigger population, accept a lower iquota 
than the United States, particularly in view of the traditional 
combination of England and America, and the English control 
of the Indian Federation and the American control of the 
Malaysian Federation? Who will bell the Russian cat? 

It is clear that raising the common "collective quota" of the 
international "Mobile Corps" and lowering the percentage of 
the national contingents of the "Big Powers" would accomplish 
every purpose Mr. Culbertson desires more surely and more 
effectively than the low collective quota and high quotas for 
certain particular powers in sharp contrast to the rest of the 
nations. Equal quotas for the Regional Federations and a high 
common collective quota for all would seem to represent the 
principle of international justice and sincerity, and create 



PEACE BY POINT RATIONS 139 

greater confidence. It would be a simple idea to give that col- 
lective quota 50 per cent, and then no matter what the com- 
binations of "rebellious" "National Contingents" are, they 
would still be less than the collective quota obeying the com- 
mand of the "World Government/' unless the whole world re- 
volts against the "World Government/ 5 which is an absurdity. 
Even a 32-34 per cent for the collective quota would secure a 
readier approval, on either of the following formulas: 

(A) Collective Quota . . 34% 

ii National Contingents 

(averaging 6% each) 66% 

(B) Collective Quota 32% 

Russia, China, Britain, and U. S. 

(10% each) 40% 

7 other Contingents 

(averaging 4% each) ...... 28% 

Under the "B" plan, a U. S.-Britain combination or a Russia- 
China combination would give only 20 per cent as against the 
Collective Quota of 34 per cent, or against 80 per cent of the 
World Police. 

Why is this not suggested ? And here we come at once to the 
root of the matter, which is psychological For the acceptance 
of America and Great Britain the principle is consent, and -for 
the acceptance of Russia the principle is coercion. "It would 
have been desirable, perhaps, to lower the American and British 
quotas even further. But in that event, it is unlikely that the 
majority of the British Parliament would approve it, and highly 
improbable that two-thirds of the American Senate would vote 
for such a risky commitment." But why "risky," particularly if 
there is a bigger collective quota? How about the risky com- 
mitment for Russia? We read: 



i 4 o BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

It is possible that Russia, mindful of her bitter pre-war 
experiences with the capitalistic countries and suspicious 
of their future intentions, might adopt a policy of total 
isolation until convinced that the World Federation is de- 
signed for her benefit as well as for that of other nations 
. . * there could be no objection on Russia's part if the 
World Federation should increase its own total armed 
strength, parallel to Russian increases, so as to maintain 
the Quota Force Principle. 

We are back in the same rut again, the rut of armament race, 
which is a risky matter, and of political coercion, which is still 
riskier. 

And here we receive a strong and clear hint from Sir Nor- 
man Angell that Anglo-American conduct during the peace as 
during tie war will be along the line of "unilateral" action. 
Clarence Streit and all other advocates of Anglo-American 
union or domination think in exactly the same way: The other 
nations may takf it or leave it, the World Government will not 
be based on consent of the world. For Sir Norman Angell said 
in his New York Town Hall speech of March u, 1943: 

Note this, the American elder statesmen in adopting the 
Monroe Doctrine did not proceed first of all by drawing 
up an elaborate Pan-American Constitution. They did not 
even get in touch with the Latin-American Republics. The 
Declaration was unilateral. This, it seems to me, is a preg- 
nant hint for today ^ 

Sir Norman Angell is really getting more and more exasper- 
ated. 

But why the higher quota for the big powers and a low 
quota for the other powers? Here we run into a series of in- 
verted reasonings. Because, Mr. Culbertson says, the small 

**As reported in the New York Times, March 12, 1943. 



PEACE BY POINT RATIONS 141 

powers would combine and attack the big powers! Where in 
history have the small nations ever had the wit to combine in 
defense, much less in attack? Does not history teach the exact 
reverse? Was it Norway or Switzerland or Denmark that 
threatened world peace? But we read: 

The ideal distribution of the World Police might seem 
to be the assignment of an equal Quota to each of the 
eleven Regional Federations. But this would be unre- 
alistic. In computing the Quotas one must keep in mind not 
only the factors of territory and industrial capacity, but the 
psycho-political factor as well. If each Region had an equal 
Quota of the World's Armed Forces, then the poorer re- 
gions (which are in great majority) might seek to combine 
for an attack against the few prosperous ones. 

It is the old story of Finland threatening the security of Rus- 
sia. Why not seek safety in a bigger "Collective Quota'* and 
have a litde more confidence in the "World Government"? It 
would seem that the psycho-political principle should operate 
against nations which have a historical record of aggressive- 
ness rather than against the historically peace-loving small 
nations. 

In the case of China, the inverted reasoning is even more ap- 
parent. I know Mr. Culbertson is well disposed toward China. 
The inverted reasoning he employs one set of reasoning for 
China, another for America and Great Britain is purely un- 
conscious and profoundly human. A Lebensraum of conti- 
nental dimensions is the reason for a higher quota in the case 
of the United States, Britain, and Russia; the same fact is ad- 
duced as the reason for denying it to China. And why? Be- 
cause China "threatens" the other powers. 



In the deeper sense of future reality, it is perhaps best 
for the peace of the world that the United States, Britain 



142 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

and Russia should be the ones with a preponderance of 
Quota strength. Each has a lebensraum of continental di- 
mensions, the economy of each is inwardly, not outwardly, 
expanding [sic!]. Each is threatened by powerful rivals- 
rump super-states like Germany, which lacks lebensraum, 
or embryonic super-states like China, which lacks tech- 
nology. 

So the story is that, China, which lacks technology (or war 
potential) is threatening either Russia or the United States 
which have it! 

Mr. Culbertson makes it quite clear that the size of China's 
population, a territory easy to defend, and a homogeneous pop- 
ulation are the reasons for China's being assigned 4 per cent, 
while the same factors are the reasons for Russia and the 
United States being give 15 to 20 per cent Mr. Culbertson ad- 
mits the "seeming injustice," which he "explains" as follows: 

In the case of China, it would seem that this heroic na- 
tion of five hundred million people should be entitled to 
more than 4%. Actually, the very size of her population is 
the main reason for China's relatively low Quota. China 
has not only a very low industrial capacity and territory 
which is fairly easy to defend, but she possesses an enor- 
mous homogeneous population. She will have trained 
forces for internal policing at least four times the size of 
that of the United States. Although such a police force will 
have no heavy weapons, it will be in effect, a supporting 
infantry. Hence her Quota of 4%. 27 

I don't follow you, Mr. Culbertson. 

27 The last sentence, "Hence her Quota of 4%,** appearing in the original mimeo- 
graphed copy has been struck out in the printed and revised edition. This is interest- 
ing. It was meant to clinch an argument, but Mr. Culbertson must have felt that in- 
stead of clinching the argument, it weakened it. 



PEACE BY POINT RATIONS 143 

The psychological reason is deeper than that. Mr. Culbertson 
really would not want China to lay herself open to the sus- 
picion of imperialism and invite the fear of the world. It is only 
later that we read the real reason, as suggested in a world with- 
out the "Quota Force Principle." 

Furthermore, the World Federation enables China to 
develop industrially without exciting the fears of other 
great nations. Without the World Federation, power- 
politics might dictate that other nations should sooner or 
later strike at China, to prevent her five hundred million 
people from becoming too powerful industrially and there- 
fore militarily. 

But even within the World Federation, the same dilemma 
really exists: either strangle China industrially or allow her to 
develop until she will demand a revision of the quota for equal- 
ity with the other nations, and this demand for revision will 
have to be kept down by coercion at the point of the bayonet, 
or by stubborn manipulation of the "World Government.'* It 
will be the story of the "5:5:3," in altered forms the basis of 
the present war with Japan. Such complications always arise 
when we get "realistic" and forsake the principle of equality. 

That China may be coerced into acceptance or remain out- 
side is another matter. If she does accept 4 per cent, it will not 
be because of coercion, but because of the old rogue's Laotsean 
philosophy of the wisdom of appearing foolish, the advantage 
of lying low, the strength of gentility, and the victory that 
comes from not inviting the fear of the world. I am sure of it. 
The fear is that the younger nations will not live by the wis- 
dom of avoiding fear and hatred and ruin by insolence. "To 
pretend to be a damn fool" is such a common phrase in Chi- 
nese that I constantly forget it isn't an English idiom. Who but 
a Chinese scholar would call himself "Guard Stupidity" or 



144 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

"Embrace Folly"? But I 'know eventually it is white insolence 
that will ruin any world co-operation. 

No, the problem of peace is not a problem of mathematics, 
but a'problem of the psychology of the big powers. The prob- 
lem, of world peace is no more a problem of mathematics than 
the problem of conducting a campaign is the problem of dis- 
position of troops and topography; very often, given the troops 
and the tanks, it is only the problem of the commanding gen- 
eral's personality, his mind, his courage, his quick decision, his 
capacity to get along with his officers, and his attitude toward 
his superiors, his rivals, and his enemy- 
Battles have been lost because the general was thinking of 
his mistress in the enemy camp, and peace has been lost be- 
cause the Lavals were busily traveling to Berlin and Rome. 
And while the conception of power politics remains what it is 
and the statesmen of the leading powers still sit in their mo- 
ronic complacency, with no mental comprehension of how the 
war arose and what it is being fought for, except certain colo- 
nial possessions and the status quo, peace will forever remain 
an elusive hope and the blood of our children and grandchil- 
dren must flow. 

May I suggest a simple solution? May I claim and demon- 
strate that peace has been possible? May I substantiate it by 
history and point out that peace has not been an empty dream, 
but a reality, an accomplished historic fact, in many quarters of 
this earth? Without a convention, and without quotas, peace 
has already been achieved between Canada and the United 
States. Without a convention, or federation, or the "Quota Force 
Principle/' peace has been achieved in the continent of South 
America already. And may I also suggest that there was peace 
in Asia in the centuries preceding the coming of the white 
man? That there has been peace in Tahiti and Bali and the 
Samoan Islands? Peace, too, in Greenland and Iceland. 

And may I point out why ? There is peace in South America 
and in the Caribbean Sea because the Spanish and Portuguese 



PEACE BY POINT RATIONS 145 

Empires have collapsed. There have been civil wars, but we 
are not interested in local civil wars; we are speaking of the 
large patterns of world history. There will be peace in the 
world only when the English, French, and Dutch Empires col- 
lapse. I know this war is not big enough to reverse the process 
and wipe out the Empires, and I hope World War III will do 
it. If the imperialist powers will not worry overmuch about the 
"capacity for self-government" of the Filipinos, the Javanese, 
the Indians, and Burmese, there will be peace, too, in the Phil- 
ippines, the Dutch Indies, India, and Burma. But if they do not 
stop worrying overmuch about the capacity for self-government 
of the colonies, wars will continue to be fought in the home 
countries themselves. 

Civil wars are necessary in a nation until an equilibrium is 
restored. Revolts against empires are necessary until the invader 
is driven out. The only stable equilibrium in the world is the 
equilibrium of equality. Only when such equilibrium is reached 
can we have peace. Small countries have the right to fight, per- 
haps to settle an old boundary dispute. Big countries have no 
right to fight, ever, because when they fight they involve the 
whole world. When small countries fight, it is at least their 
own business; when the big powers fight, it is always because 
they want to interfere with someone else's business. Small coun- 
tries do not fight, because they always have enough territory. 
Big countries fight, because curiously what they have is never 
enough they need Lebensraum. Finally, all countries, whether 
big or small, do not fight because they are contented, and all 
countries, whether big or small, fight because they are discon- 
tented. As Laotse says, "There is no greater curse than the lack 
of contentment, no greater sin than the desire for possession. 
Therefore he who is contented with contentment shall be al- 
ways content." 

And so Mr. Culbertson is putting the cart before the horse 
when he puts arithmetic before psychology. Of all the fifty or 
sixty nations in the world, only three or four big powers are 



146 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

upsetting the peace of the world. These powers have run over 
this earth, kicking down people's fences in bad temper and 
worse manners, robbing them of their liberty and independ- 
ence, and taking possession of their goods and have then 
fought wars among themselves for these goods. First they 
fought among themselves, and then they called upon the entire 
world to fight for them to keep what they have. This makes 
little sense, and it makes still less sense to say that we can have 
peace only by giving greater power to the big powers and dis- 
arming the small powers, on the plea that the small powers 
may combine to attack them! 

Big Powers, at least behave as if you were not scared! But 
now we suddenly hear about policing the world, as if the 
Greenlanders and Samoans and Formosans and Burmese were 
threatening the world peace, while the big powers don their 
uniforms, strutting about to club the small powers on their 
heads with a baton if they do not behave. It would seem that 
we could well police the big powers for a while and leave the 
poor Samoans and Balinese and Eskimos alone. But, no, we 
cannot disarm the big powers, because the big powers will not 
be disarmed, after having so heroically fought and triumphed 
in this war. Very well, then, let's have wars eternally. The first 
thing we know the police will start shooting among them- 
selves and scare us poor humble neighbors out of our wits. 



17 

THE SCIENCE OF THE BLOODY EARTH 

NO, the root of war lies deeper. Mr. Culbertson is the oppo- 
site, of the power politicians. He is on our side. Those on the 
other side are legion, and their sores are touchy. Probe gently, 



THE SCIENCE OF THE BLOODY EARTH 147 

for it hurts and it is a case requiring the greatest surgical skill. 
"He who has an ugly disease shuns the doctor/' says a Chinese 
proverb. The leprous growths are many and spread in all di- 
rections, for power politics is an old, old disease, and we shall 
not do our job until we have slashed open the patient and cut 
out the toxin-secreting tumors of Naturalism, Determinism, 
and Despair. 

And while we are approaching the pseudo-scientific ground 
of geopolitics, which speaks of states as "organisms," let us 
remember that disease is also an organism. Disease fights to 
survive as much as life itself. It feeds upon the blood and tissues 
of the patient and fights hard to maintain its ground- It buries 
itself in the body, builds itself a fortress, and fights back. So 
has the disease of power-politics built itself a beautiful man- 
sion called the Hall of Geopolitics, before whose portals stands 
the statue of a naked lady, Science, stolen from the Natural 
Museum, and on whose frieze stand the sacrilegeous inscrip- 
tions of Bacon, Linnaeus, Leibnitz, Humboldt, Hegel, Wagner, 
and Darwin. It has shining corridors and a bright library and 
a sea of archives in well-numbered dossiers, and clean, white- 
tiled latrines. For anything worthy of the name of science now 
has clean, white-tiled latrines. How Darwin and Linnaeus and 
Humboldt ever became scientists and discovered things without 
these latrines is still one of the unsolved mysteries of modern 
scientific history. 

We can now well let alone the special champions of Anglo- 
American dominion, for there is sufficient material on every 
hand, and one does not usually try to show a whole desert, after 
showing a corner of it. Rather should we hurry our steps and 
examine where the deep-rooted sores of our spirit lie, and dili- 
gently search until we have found the source of infection. We 
may conveniently take geopolitics as such an affection of the 
spirit; we shall turn it about until we see what makes modern 
men think the way we do. 

For geopolitics is, after all, a kind of philosophy and Wdtan- 



148 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

schauung, a thing of the mind, where Nazi scholars and anti- 
Nazi scholars meet and shake hands in profound admiration 
of one another. It is out of such minds, out of the character of 
modern scholarship, that modern power politics grows, flour- 
ishes, and has its being. In Professor Nicholas John Spykman 
we have the foremost geopolitician in America today and there- 
fore a fair specimen, not of all college minds, but of some of 
them, where the dehumanization of scholarship has reached 
the ultimate process, and science and the conscience of man 
part ways. 

Professor Spykman is frankly a serious exponent of world 
power politics. The subtide of America's Strategy in World 
Politics is "The United States and the Balance of Power." He 
believes profoundly in power politics and exhibits all its symp- 
toms. He holds that: 

Basically, the new order will not differ from the old, and 
international society will continue to operate with the same 
power patterns. It will be a world of power politics in 
which the interests of the United States will continue to 
demand the preservation of the balance of power in Eu- 
rope and Asia. 28 

Consequently, he is for an Anglo-American-Japanese he- 
gemony of the world. He is against unity in Europe, by either 
federation or dominion by one power, for: 

A federal Europe would constitute an agglomeration of 
force that would completely alter our significance as an 
Atlantic power and greatly weaken our position in the 
Western Europe. // the peace objective of the United States 
is the creation of a United Europe, we we fighting on the 



^America's Strategy in World Politics, p. 461, For following quotations, see 
pp. 460, 466, 470. 



THE SCIENCE OF THE BLOODY EARTH 149 

wrong side. All-out aid to Mr. Hitler would be die quick- 
est way to achieve an integrated trans-Atlantic zone. 

X 

In other words, we are fighting really to preserve a disunited 
Europe. We are fighting on the right side because we are fight- 
ing against that unity and integration of Europe, and we are 
helping the English to fight for no other reason than to keep 
Europe embroiled so that the United States may be a more 
"significant" Atlantic power. Therefore, he is for American 
hegemony in Asia, Europe, and America. And in order to do 
this, the United States must "continue the struggle" until she 
has annihilated the power of Russia and China, after defeating 
Germany and Japan. 29 To accomplish all this and keep it up, 
however, she must restore power to Germany and Japan and 
plan the ruin of Russia and China. "Washington might become 
convinced of the British argument that asks for the continued 
existence of a powerful Germany." "If the balance of power 
in the Far East is to be preserved, the United States will have 
to adopt a similar protective policy toward Japan [as toward 
England]. The present inconsistency in American policy will 
have to be removed." "A Russian state from the Urals to the 
North Sea can be no improvement over a German state from 
the North Sea to the Urals." "A modern, vitalized, and mili- 
tarized China of 450 million people is going to be a threat not 
only to Japan, but also to the position of the Western powers 
in the Asiatic Mediterranean." 

There is more concentrated international poison for dealing 
with the future of the world in the last fifteen pages of his 
book than in the whole of Mein Kampf. Is Professor Spykman 
raging mad? No, he is talking science, a science that has noth- 
ing to do with human values or human beings. He is com- 
pletely objective, thoroughly detached, hermetically sealed, and 
sterilized of all normal human sentiments. If anyone can see 

m lbid., pp. 460-461. See the exact quotation already given in the section "The 
Emergence of Asia,** (pp. 20-21). 



150 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

any difference in Weltanschauung between Spykinan and 
Haushofer or Hitler, I should like to be told. Professor Spyk- 
man is intellectually a Nazi, but of course scientific labels carry 
no stigma in scientific circles. The distinction between a skunk 
and a squirrel is pure uneducated prejudice. Unless we can 
come up to this austere intellectual plane of natural science, we 
cannot understand Professor Spykman. 

The American public woke up last year to the realization of 
the presence of a new word, "geopolitics," or Geopoliti\, as the 
Germans say. Connected with it is the name of Major-General 
Professor Doktor Karl Haushofer (born 1869), its great apos- 
tle, who is credited with having exerted a profound influence 
over Hitler, almost as Rasputin was pictured as an influence on 
the last of the Russian Czars. Anyway, Chapter XIV of Vol. II 
of Mem Kampf is thought to be pure or adulterated Haushofer. 
His position in relation to World War II seems to be like that 
of Treitschke in relation to World War I. 

The public belatedly rubs its eyes and then finds that there 
was an Englishman before Haushofer, Sir Halford MacKinder, 
who, as far back as 1904, enunciated the central dynamic geo- 
political concept of the Euro-asiatic "Heartland," and whose 
book, Democratic Ideals and 'Reality, published in 1918 #nd 
completely forgotten, was recently resuscitated in a 1942 re- 
issue. Then we discover further that the whole biological and 
dehumanized concept of a "state organism" with "organic 
lusts," growing and expanding like a plant in its struggle for 
"living space," was already given its sharp contours by a Swed- 
ish professor, Rudolf Kjellen (died 1922), who had learned it 
from his German master, Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1904), in the 
eighteen-nineties. The importance of the international origin 
of this peculiarly European science will be explained later. 

What gives geopolitics its dangerous character is, however, 
the fact that it is called "science," in whose name many crimes 
have been committed. It must be remembered that the very 
thing that distinguishes German geopolitics from political ge- 



THE SCIENCE OF THE BLOODY EARTH 151 

ography is that geopolitics is "a guide to political action." Po- 
litical geography is primarily geography, whose functions are 
descriptive and analytical, while geopolitics is primarily politics, 
the politics of world conquest or at least of world struggles, 
consciously built on strategic concepts of geography. As the 
German geopolitician Otto Maull well puts it: 



concerns itself with the state, not as a static 
concept, but as a living being. It is not interested like its 
mother science, political geography, in the state as a phe- 
nomenon of nature in its situation, size, form, or bound- 
aries as such. Geopolitics . . is a discipline that weighs 
and evaluates a given situation and by its conclusions seeks 
to guide practical politics. 30 

It has therefore the definite character of an applied science. 
Since the only professed application of this science is the 
struggle of states for living space through wars for the control 
of the globe, geopolitics is not the innocuous political science of 
relations of state organisms to the "soil," but necessarily the 
science of blood and soil combined. Not that the geopoliticians 
themselves ever cared a twopence about human blood. That 
lies outside the "precincts" of this "exact science." But when 
they talk about the "earth" or the "World Island," I see it dyed 
pinkish-purple with human blood. It is not the science of the 
"soil," of land-mass and "Heartland" and "Rimland" and living 
space and expanding space, but the Science of the Bloody 
Earth, as different from political geography as slush is different 
from snow. Its only scientific aspects are its accumulation of 
factual data, its strictly biological conception of "political space 
organism" (the state) as a tree growing on the soil or dying for 
lack of it, and, last of all, that godlike indifference to, and god- 
less contempt for, moral judgments and values which we call 
complete scientific "objectivity." Populations may be trans- 

80 Andreas Dorpalcn, The World of General Haushojer, pp. 24-25. 



152 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

planted like carrots, and the "World Island" may be cut up, 
examined, and redisposed to the advantage of the expanding 
state like a melon. Whether a few dozen schoolchildren have 
to be bombed or a million inhabitants slaughtered in the proc- 
ess is unworthy of the concern of such globe-cutters. It is 
exactly that detachment from human values, that mechanistic 
concept of physical forces determining human events., and that 
"naturalistic" view of the human world as a jungle which 
give it its scientific character. 

It is particularly unfortunate that not only does geopolitics 
arrogate to itself the attitude and terminology of a natural 
science, but that it is known as German science. I cannot say 
that the Americans have exactly an inferiority complex with 
regard to German science. American cameras are probably as 
good as German cameras, and the American bomb sight is just 
a damn sight better than the German bomb sight. Nevertheless, 
German science has always enjoyed a high prestige, for which 
American academic circles show great respect. German influ- 
ence in American universities in certain branches of study, as, 
for instance, in the teaching of literature, is to be deplored and 
still weighs heavily on our postgraduate schools. The fact that 
geopolitics goes under the name of German science imme- 
diately commands the respect of certain American professors 
and soon finds it a host of camp followers. 

Life reported at the end of 1942: "This year some 1500 
courses in geopolitics are being given in United States colleges. 
On campuses all over the country musty old geographers are 
blossoming out as shiny new geopoliticians." But there are also 
first-class minds among American geopoliticians, like President 
Isaiah Bowman, of Johns Hopkins University, Father Walsh, 
of Georgetown, Nicholas Spykman, of Yale, Derwent Whittle- 
sey, of Harvard, Edward Mead Earle and Harold Sprout, of 
Princeton, "Science" it is called, and science it will be. How 
American common sense will modify Haushof erism remains to 
be seen, but there, is no thought on the part of American pro- 



THE SCIENCE OF THE BLOODY EARTH 153 

fessors of disclaiming the scientific title, and we cannot laugh 
it off as a German poison which will be automatically neutral- 
ized as soon as it reaches American soil. 

How deeply influenced by this German Weltanschauung and 
by Darwinian naturalism American geopoliticians are, is best 
seen in Professor Spykman, in whose book this German aus- 
terity of the "natural science of power politics" with no room 
for human values finds a complete, unmitigated reflection. 
How does a quotation like the following strike the reader? 

The statesman who conducts foreign policy can concern 
himself with the values of justice, fairness and tolerance 
only to the extent that they contribute to or do not inter- 
fere with the power objective. They can be used instru- 
mentally as moral justification for the power quest, but 
they must be discarded the moment their application 
brings weakness. The search for power is not made for 
the achievement of moral values; moral values are used to 
facilitate the attainment of power. 

Nine out of ten readers would think that this was from Mcin 
Kampf; but, no, this is from Spykman's America's Strategy in 
World Politics, page 18. This is the book of which an Ameri- 
can university president, Isaiah Bowman, of Johns Hopkins, 
says, "It should be read in not less than a million American 
homes. Every government official responsible for policy should 
read it once a year for the next twenty years/' 

This moral prostitution of the academic point of view may 
be further seen in the fact that when Dr. Hans W. Weigert 
wrote a heartrending appeal for restoration of human values in 
the last chapter of his new book on geopolitics, Generals and 
Geographers, a reviewer in the ISiew Yor% Times said, "The 
last fifteen pages of the book on 'Geopolitics and Humanity* 
should never have been written." He declared that the book 
"concludes with an outlook .' . . which is as cloudy and con.- 



i 5 4 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

fused as anything Haushofer has ever written " What makes 
it "cloudy and confused" to the reviewer, I assume, is the intro- 
duction of human values of right and wrong into the austere 
plane of objective science. I shudder to think that American 
academic reaction to Dr. Weigert's appeal is dead. 

On the other hand, the recent books on the subject by 
Strausz-Hup4 Derwent Whittlesey, and Andreas Dorpalen, 31 
as well as the one by Hans W. Weigert, have been sanely 
critical of Haushoferism. German geopolitical thought de- 
serves to be studied carefully, even as Mem Kampf deserves to 
be studied carefully. (Dorpalen's The World of General Haus- 
hofcr gives the original source material rarely accessible to the 
American public.) 

To me, however, geopolitics, Haushoferian or otherwise, is 
50 per cent factual data, 30 per cent pseudo-science, and 20 per 
cent German metaphysics or "Faustian longing." Since far too 
many definitions are being offered, some made purposely in- 
nocuous with an air of scientific objectivity, one should accept 
Haushofer's own: "Geopolitics is the scientific foundation of 
the art of political action in the life-and-death struggle of state 
organisms for Lebensraum" S2 Take away from it the natural- 
istic warring concepts of "life-and-death struggle" and "state 
organism" and "Lebensraum" and it no longer serves any pur- 
pose as a guide to political action. Take away from it the dy- 
namic concept of the Eurasian transcontinental bloc based on 
the Asiatic Heartland, and it is worth less than a penny to 
Haushofer or Hitler himself. 

Obviously geopolitics has its contributions. The first is the 
notion that political planning of the world for war or for peace 
must be based on sound knowledge of geography, just as war 

31 Robert Strausz-Hupe, Geopolitics; the Struggle for Space and Power (Putnam); 
Derwent Whittlesey, German Strategy of World Conquest (Farrar and Rinehart), 
with interesting illustrations of geopolitical maps; Andreas Dorpalen, The World of 
General HausAofer (Farrar and Rinehart). 

33 Quoted by Dr. Hans W. Weigert, Generals and Geographers (Oxford) p. 14, 
See also the many "official" and unofficial definitions in Dorpalen's book, pp. 23*25. 



THE SCIENCE OF THE BLOODY EARTH 155 

plans require good maps. Vice-President Wallace's proposal 
for air highways, taking account of the arctic regions, is an 
excellent geopolitical concept. In a true sense anybody who 
ever reflected upon the political significance of the Panama 
Canal or the Suez Canal was thinking geopolitically. The sec- 
ond is that it teaches a global concept of the war and the peace 
as nothing else can, a concept in which the Germans and the 
Japanese excel and in which the western democracies are woe- 
fully left behind. The best argument for Nazi "war guilt/' if 
one is needed, is the evidence of their preparedness and the 
dismal political confusion of the democracies with regard to 
Asia a year after Pearl Harbor. The Germans and the Japa- 
nese were excellently prepared in global political strategy, 
while Anglo-Americans were and are still muddled about 
Asia. Incidentally, there is also great profit to be derived from 
the art of drawing dynamic maps and reading them, which 
can be learned from geopolitics. Haushofer's great complaint 
when he started the Munich "institute was that the German 
generals did not know how to read maps. 

We are pretty well agreed that Rosenberg's racial myth of 
Aryan superiority is pseudo-science. The question comes closer 
to the human heart. We do not even bother to disprove it, 
because our heart denies it. That geopolitics is a pseudo-science 
is less obvious, because the geopoliticians are apparently talk- 
ing of land-mass and the contours of the "World Island." That 
it is nevertheless a pseudo-science arises from the fact that it 
deals with world politics, and by its very nature world politics 
cannot be treated with the cold objectivity of, say, mineralogy. 
There is simply no objectivity possible in dealing with human 
values. Somewhere a human choice has to be made, and when 
that choice is made, subjective elements come in. Then geo- 
politics is as little objective as the Aryan race myth. The hope- 
less confusion of moral values and the undependableness of 
such opinions immediately become apparent. 

A curious example of this is Professor George T. Renner's 



156 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

proposal to exterminate the Swiss Republic on geopolitical 
grounds. The proposal is not only unjust; it is untrue to a 
human fact, because the Swiss Republic has demonstrated its 
ability to hang together as a human community living in peace 
for seven hundred years by certain democratic values beyond 
the ken of Professor Renner, and in flagrant defiance of the 
geopolitical "law of expanding space." In the same way, Pro- 
fessor Spykman is geographically fascinated by the similarity 
of Japan's and England's positions on the map and therefore 
advocates co-operating with Japan on the same terms as with 
England, disregarding the human fact that English mentality 
is not essentially warlike, while Japanese mentality is. Such 
confusions and contradictions are inevitable. What I object to 
is that such romantic nonsense, such lack of grasp of world 
political realities, should seek refuge under the name of science. 
To contradict common sense does not necessarily indicate a 
scientific mind* 

That geopolitics is a pseudo-science is less easily recognizable 
because the roots are deeper and fall in line with nineteenth- 
century naturalism, which is the transferring of the Dar- 
winian concept of life-and-death struggle to the humanities* 
This naturalism was a characteristic of European thought in 
the latter part of the nineteenth century. I have referred to the 
international European character of the origins of geopolitics. 
It started with Ratzel's conception of r 'state organism" as a 
struggling, living thing, and Kjellen's The State as Living 
Form. Unmistakably drawing its inspiration from the Dar- 
winian interpretation of the animal world, the naturalistic 
tendency was to transpose the laws of the animal world to the 
human world in the name of science. In his essay ^Living- 
space: A Bio-Geographical Study" (1901), Ratzel clearly used 
Darwinian terms of the animal world and made no bones about 
it. 

The danger lies in the fact that unless one denied the free- 
dom of the human will and talked of physical forces and me- 



THE SCIENCE OF THE BLOODY EARTH 157 

chanical "laws of expanding space" and "organisms/* with 
the nature o topography as a god determining the growth 
and death of nations, one could not appear "scientific" at all. 
Furthermore, science wants to predict, and only determinism 
enables us to predict. In the realm of geopolitical thought 
Oswald Spengler, whom Haushofer quoted implicitly, ex- 
pressed most clearly the view of human culture in terms of 
plant morphology as something rooted in the "soil" and grow- 
ing and dying with it. His pessimism is a direct result of his 
determinism, which is again a result of his naturalism. It is be- 
cause its roots are deep in European thought and in European 
power politics that we cannot think of Haushofer's develop- 
ment as a local German aberration. 

We cannot therefore say that geopolitics has no values; it 
has a clear set of naturalistic values, the values of power poli- 
tics or of the law of the jungle. If we accept naturalistic values, 
we must end up in Spenglerian pessimism; from it there is no 
escape. Unless we are willing to make a clean break with 
power politics and with this naturalistic Weltanschauung, 
Spengler *s pessimism is justified. Perhaps the western civiliza- 
tion will go down in eternal wars. 

The trouble with naturalism is that too many things are 
becoming natural. The law of the jungle has become natural 
to our academic minds. Manslaughter has become scientifically 
natural. The bombing of schoolchildren has become natural 
also. We have had enough of naturalism. To be inhumanly 
scientific has ceased to be a reproach with us. 

Somewhere we must stop, before we come to the brink of 
the catastrophe. Unless we are willing to take many things on 
faith and abjure the false cloak of science, this era of human 
civilization is doomed* Unless we renounce the intellectual 
code which has led us to 1914 and to 1939, and render unto 
natural science what belongs to science and render unto man 
what belongs to man, I do not see how the western civilization 
can escape destruction. There are too many things we cannot 



158 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

be scientific about because we can never "prove" them or even 
measure them. The equality of men and peoples can never be 
proved. The possibility of world co-operation can never be 
proved. These things have to be taken on faith. In place of 
naturalistic values, we have to set up human values. Our very 
standard and notion of truth itself must be changed. The 
standard of Confucius is still not far wrong. "Truth must not 
depart from human nature. If what is regarded as truth de- 
parts from human nature, it may not be regarded as truth." 
That is the Confucian answer to naturalism. 

Geopoliticians call themselves "realists," by which they 
mean they have no patience with ideals. Many of our intel- 
lectuals belong to a cynic generation, while the Munich men 
and other appeasers are regarded as "realists." Those who 
speak for the freedom of India are laughed at. Those who plead 
for a complete break with power politics are laughed at. Those 
who choose to believe that sincere co-operation and good will 
between the western democracies and Russia are possible by an 
act of human will, if we will make the effort, are laughed at. 
Those who are telling the world to go down the bloody path 
of national suspicions and balance of power call themselves 
"realists," 

At bottom it is only a question of the freedom of the human 
will versus determinism, the question whether good will has 
the power to change the world we make for ourselves. Peace 
on earth, I repeat, is an act of faith, and without faith we 
shall not be saved. It boils down almost to this: Jesus, the 
Prince of Peace, was a liar or He was not. We've got to make 
up our minds. 



THE INTELLECTUAL'S DILEMMA 159 

18 

THE INTELLECTUAL'S DILEMMA 

IT SEEMS that we are the inheritors of a sick and dying 
tradition in modern thought, from which these professors of 
geopolitics are not able to lift themselves. In geopolitics and 
its professed disciples, we see a deep-seated cynicism, a stupid 
belief in force and necessary struggle, a total absence of appre- 
ciation of a moral point of view, and above all, a haughty threat 
of force in the form of an overwhelming air and sea power 
with which the world is going to be policed for the world's 
own good. 

If the voice of the professors prevails over the voice of the 
common people and there is every evidence that it prevails 
strongly in certain influential and official sections of the west- 
ern democracies the blood of millions of American boys will 
have to be shed in a future war. For even they themselves do 
not tell you that, following the pattern of world domination, 
there will be a world peace, but only that the Anglo-American 
sword will be ground so sharp and suspended so ominously 
low over the rest of the world that no revolt will be possible. 
In other words, while force cannot succeed in Hitler's hands, 
it can succeed in Anglo-American hands. If this is the sum of 
wisdom that guides men's actions in politics, then the picture 
is dark indeed. It simply means the assumption that after the 
war, the world must be frightened by 50,000 Anglo-American 
planes and 200,000 pilots. But suppose China refuses to be 
frightened, Russia refuses to be frightened, and the world re- 
fuses to be frightened. Then what? Go out and bomb them 
after the war ? What childish simplicity ! 

How many millions of American boys must shed their blood 
in order to crush both China and Russia never concerns the 



ifo BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

learned professor. If it did, he would cease to be a scientist 
and would make a disgraceful display of such human emotions 
as the sense of right and wrong and the revulsion against kill- 
ing fellow men. Professor Spykman has forgotten about God, 
His reply is that his subject is strictly geopolitics, and God and 
geopolitics are separate. My reply to that is that they should 
not be separate, or we would be debasing the human intellect 
in the name of science. I know I am a heathen and Professor 
Spykman is a Christian, but still a heathen can believe in God, 
and I like to argue with the Christian professor on this point. 

The dilemma exists everywhere and must be faced quickly. 
The academic dilemma in modern scholarship, that in order 
to be "scientific" we must reject moral judgments and cannot 
even properly handle human sentiments in other words, the 
enforced amorality of the academic point of view had better 
be quickly solved by western thinkers, or we must have as a 
natural result international amorality in human relations. The 
elimination of conscience has come from the top, not from 
below, from the educated, not from the uneducated. Conse- 
quently, if we are to continue to live safely together, we must 
rely upon the judgment of the New York taxi-drivers, and not 
on that of a Yale Professor of International Relations. 

For we are getting closer to the deep-seated sores of a curious 
modern intellectual malady. I accuse western scholarship of 
being amoral, which is a splendid attitude in the natural sci- 
ences, but downright decadent and obscene in the sphere of 
human studies. I maintain that the academic attitude, deprived 
of warm emotions for our fellow men, is a dangerous attitude 
to teach in our college classrooms. I maintain that this trend of 
thought has produced a Hitler, and will produce more Hitlers 
wherever this type of moral prostitution prevails. I maintain, 
further, that this method of strict objectivity, useful in the 
natural sciences, is unreliable and dangerous in the human 
sciences. I maintain that objective thinking in human relations 
is an impossibility and never exists. Consequently, I maintain 



THE INTELLECTUAL'S DILEMMA 161 

that no human science,, in the sense of a true natural science, 
is possible, except physiology and its related studies, medicine 
and anthropology. I believe that the scientific technique is in- 
adequate in the so-called human sciences and must be supple- 
mented by insight and simple wisdom, and that, unless we 
do so, we are heading for disaster. Particularly is this true of 
world problems. In a later chapter, I shall try to make this clear. 

I maintain this because, first of all, in the final weighing of 
conclusions, after the assemblage of facts, the decision is always 
a subjective process, involving evaluation of imponderable fac- 
tors, never reducible to facts and figures. An example of the 
failure of the objective method is the isolationist position of 
Charles A. Beard. In the final weighing of divergent facts, to 
arrive at an isolationist or an anti-Axis stand, the emotions 
not only do, but also should enter into our considerations, or 
we are debasing the intellect and the conscience God has given 
us. 

Secondly, in the realm of human affairs, psychological facts 
and factors could never be assessed with anything like the 
accuracy found in the scientific measurement of electric volts 
or radio waves. Outstanding cases are Russian and Chinese 
morale. If anybody took the trouble to assemble facts, the Ger- 
mans certainly did. So did the Japanese. The odds looked all 
in their favor; the odds do not look that way now. If the Ger- 
mans could be wrong, so could we. 

Thirdly, we all place different values upon human facts, 
making objectivity impossible. The fact that the Japanese are 
a warlike nation and the English are a peace-loving nation has 
a certain significance for me, but not for Professor Spykman. 
The fact that the Japanese are warlike and aggressive while 
the Chinese are peace-loving and essentially democratic in their 
way of life should be the deciding factors in choosing our part- 
ners for the postwar world; but it does not seem so to Professor 
Spykman, who only looks at the map spread out before him 
and is intellectually intrigued by the similarities in geograph- 



ifa BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

ical position between England and Japan. Who is really objec- 
tive, and who can say that he alone is correct and wise ? 

Fourthly, he fools only himself who thinks he is free from 
prejudice. Emotional bias inevitably steps in. Professor Spyk- 
man notes that China's position in regard to the Asiatic Medi- 
terranean (Malaysia, etc,) is similar to that of the United States 
in regard to the American Mediterranean (the Caribbean Sea). 
Nevertheless, he thinks of the necessity of creating a strong 
Japan to check China, while he would never for a moment 
think of creating a strong Mexico to check the United States. 
That final decision is pure emotional prejudice. 

Fifthly, back of all such fascist thought is the fashionable 
determinism of modern scholarship. Determinism always spells 
irresponsibility, as if we were by necessity helpless to create a 
better world to live in. The taxi-driver has the courage to say, 
"This world of eternal wars is bad; let's change it." The de- 
terminist has not the courage to say so, but must say, "It is 
bad, and will continue to be bad." There is a curious intel- 
lectual delight in such satanic predictions, but it is not going 
to help build a better world. The elimination of conscience 
from western scholarship has gone far enough. 

Sixthly, the world is not so simple as these pseudo-scientists 
like to imagine. What the unpredictable effects of Anglo- 
American domination by an overwhelming force will be, the 
best geopoliticians cannot tell us. Only one thing we know 
definitely: the greatest force produces the greatest hatred. The 
normal human reaction against all threats of force, the cor- 
ruption that will set in with power, and the guilty conscience 
that follows corruption, the dilemma of sending American boys 
to help England fight a native insurrection in New Delhi or 
Calcutta, the absolute certainty of the willingness of Russians, 
Chinese, and Indians to be bombed to pieces and continue 
sullen resistance, the meeting of violence with nonviolence, 
which should burn Christian cheeks but doesn't, the groaning 
under the crushing burdens of taxation for armaments, and the 



CHARACTER OF THE MODERN AGE 163 

final wise and happy intuition of the Kansas farmer, "Damn 
it all, why should I police the world for others!" all such 
things are bound to follow in its wake, resulting in a violent 
reaction such as followed the Versailles Treaty. 

The advocates of such sheer domination by force have not 
even the wit to see these things. In any case, the guilt of arm- 
ing against Russia and China will lie heavily upon the Ameri- 
can conscience, and moral defeatism will set in long before 
an actual war between the races sets off the final and greatest 
conflagration of the world. 



IV. DIAGNOSIS 



19 



THE CHARACTER OF THE MODERN AGE 

WHY all this disillusionment? Evidently man's way of think- 
ing has changed. The meaning and value of life have changed. 
Man's conception of himself has changed. Our idea of the 
nature of man has changed, and when that changes, the world 
itself goes through an upheaval. Let us make this historically 
clear. 

A world tragedy seems a convenient time and compelling 
ground for assessing the character of an age and taking count 
of appreciations and depreciations of our spiritual stocks. Our 
complacency about European civilization is gone. Every time 
I think of Europe, I think of a photograph of three Poles 
hanged by the Germans, the ropes around their necks sus- 
pended from a common rack, their bodily frames unduly 
stretched and gaunt and long. It doesn't matter to me whether 
the Germans are hanging Poles, or the Poles are hanging Ger- 



164 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

mans: what this means to me is simply this, that Europeans 
are hanging Europeans. That photograph is a comment, a 
profound comment, on modern European civilization. 

When you survey the march of the last four centuries since 
the coming of the Modern Age, you are dismayed at the 
appreciation and depreciation of certain intellectual currencies, 
called "ideas." Do not forget the social and economic unrest 
in Europe that preceded this war the disintegration and col- 
lapse of democratic values, the search for sheer security, the 
security in mere making of a living, which caused the rise of 
Fascism, Nazism, Socialism, Communism, and all forms of 
collectivism. Against this background picture, let us take the 
following inventory, with "dep.," "app.," "s.q.a.," "w.o.," and 
"si." standing for depreciation, appreciation, status quo ante, 
mped out, and slight respectively: 

Indus' Social Eco~ 

Free- Educa- trial Wei" Human nomic 

God Soul dom tion Wealth jare Rights Rights 

U. S. S. R. dep. s.q.a. dep. app. app. app. dep. app. 

Germany w.o. s.q.a. w.o. app. app. app. w.o. s.q.a. 

France dep. dep. dep. app. app. ? dep. ? 

England sl.dep. sl.dep. s.q.a. app. app. app. s.q.a. app, 

On the whole, God and freedom fare the worst and educa- 
tion and industrial wealth fare the best. It is interesting to note 
that the notion of the soul (Seele) has not at all depreciated in 
modern Germany, but is a driving force in the German war 
machine. "Freedom" is contrasted with regimentation, and 
stands for the rights of the individual, or the "Human Rights," 
which column is therefore redundant except as a convenient 
visual contrast with the "Economic Rights." We are talking 
more and more about the right to a job, right to an income, 
right to security against unemployment and old age, the 
rights covered by the Beveridge Plan, the right of the soldier 
to come back and find work, etc., and are talking less and 
less about the right to be free, the right of national sov- 



CHARACTER OF THE MODERN AGE 165 

ereignty, and the right of the individual. "Industrial Wealth" 
stands for the nation's industrial productivity and does not 
refer to the distribution of wealth. Volume of wealth in itself 
without relation to its distribution means nothing to the indi- 
vidual and cannot indicate progress, but is only a measure of 
war potential to the nation. In fact, industrial overproductivity 
starts the race for markets and must end in the war for mar- 
kets; it is highly questionable whether it is a factor contribut- 
ing toward peace rather than the reverse. Industrial nations 
start wars, agricultural nations don't witness Japan and China. 
It has no relation to social peace or unrest, but rather tends, 
when its products are unevenly distributed, toward unrest 
Confucius says, "I have heard that the heads of states and fam- 
ilies do not worry about the shortage of people, but worry 
about inequality of distribution. They do not worry about 
poverty, but about social unrest. For with equal distribution, 
there is no poverty, with social unity, there is no shortage of 
people, and with social peace, there is no danger of collapse." 
The old man sometimes does hit the nail on the head even in 
economics! 

The off-hand table above is not entirely representative of the 
progress of Europe, for many of the most socially advanced 
countries, like Denmark and Holland, are not represented. In 
Catholic countries God tends to keep his ground; I am not 
a Catholic, but one has to admit it. But on the whole it is an 
unhealthy picture, an unsound balance sheet. God and free- 
dom are losing ground. That is why the people of Germany 
and Italy put up with the suppression of liberty under Fascism, 
and the very liberals in America are better advocates of eco- 
nomic security than disciples of eighteenth-century freedom. 

What does this mean? Man's minds naturally concentrate 
on the more pressing problems of the age. A man who has 
an ulcered stomach thinks and talks about nothing but his 
stomach; I never give mine a thought. The problems of the 
nineteenth century happened to be economic. The nineteenth 



i66 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

century, therefore, talked of economics, as the eighteenth cen- 
tury talked of Reason, and the seventeenth century talked of 
Divine Purpose. The twentieth century is now talking only of 
security. Isn't this ominous ? 

Economic security, by all means; the Beveridge Plan, by all 
means. Economic unrest is threatening the collapse of capi- 
talist society and, I take it, the Allies are fighting to preserve 
capitalist society. The war started with social and economic 
unrest and the collapse of democracy in Europe; when the 
war is over, naturally we shall pick up from there, and have 
to plan for it now that is "postwar planning," which is oc- 
cupied with full employment, social insurance, etc. These ideas 
fill our thoughts to the exclusion of everything else. From 
domestic economics, we go on to international economics, and 
we confuse international peace with a satisfactory international 
balance sheet. The school of Cordell Hull seems to think that 
the maintenance of world peace is merely a matter of readjust- 
ing the tariff tables, and that good will, justice^ liberty,, and 
human brotherhood simply flow from a prosperous interna- 
tional business year. 

In my recent years of stay in the United States, I have met 
only one thinking American, at least the only one thinking 
about peace whose values agree with mine. That man is a 
Negro. Several months ago I was talking with a Negro porter 
at the Union Station in Washington. His face was very intel- 
ligent and very sad. I learned he had finished three years of 
high school in the Middle West. He was making about $150 
a month, with which he had to keep a family with four 
children. I started talking with him because there was some- 
thing deep in his eyes. I said he was doing well in wartime, 
but he said it was hard and his wife and the eldest daughter 
had to go out to work. Then we started talking about the 
war. Sadly he remarked, "Conditions may change perhaps 
after the war. But it isn't the money I'm complaining about. 
I don't mind working for little money. It is that we want to 



CHARACTER OF THE MODERN AGE 167 

be treated and thought of as human beings/' His words, spoken 
simply and sincerely, stung me. Are you going to give him 
relief by some American Beveridge Plan? But a point like that 
is what we cannot solve by mathematics and what the western 
thinkers are entirely unaware of in their postwar planning. 
They are thinking very hard about his economic rights, and 
not thinking at all about his human rights. They assume he 
-will be happy with his economic rights. 

On the other hand, we are told to give up more and more 
freedom; that arouses the true democrat's blood. The economic 
remedy is for curing certain economic ills, it is not a cure-all. 
The cure for the ills of economic progress is not more eco- 
nomic progress. Man has still to go on and so live that he finds 
life both good and enjoyable. What if we win the war and lose 
the soul ? Civilization after all must have a content. 

Yet the matter goes deeper than that. It reaches down to the 
roots and fiber of our thinking and has something to do with 
the temper of the age. And I make the categorical statement: 
With our way of thinking, we cannot create or devise a world 
peace. Modern thinking is increasingly mechanical. May I 
point out how the very phraseology of the modern tongue has 
changed ? We are today scared of the old simple words, like 
"goodness," "justice," and "mercy." These are still possible to 
use, but, for instance, a phrase like "human brotherhood" 
would at once condemn its user to the charge of empty rhetoric 
and unclear thinking. It is something this age simply doesn't 
believe in, at least in the highbrow circles. Contrast it with 
the French word 'Tr#/m2Z/<f'; once upon a time, it was capable 
of arousing intense emotions even among the intellectuals. 
They just believed in it; we moderns just don't. This age shuns 
moral platitudes, and goodness, justice, and mercy seem like 
overused coins. We create euphemisms for these words and 
would rather speak of them as anything but goodness, justice, 
and mercy. A girl with a Victorian name like "Faith," "Pru- 
dence" or "Patience" would be the laughingstock of her school- 



168 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

mates. Educators, preachers, and publicists generally evade 
these words by using a more modern term; they call them the 
"spiritual values" or the "social values." But this particular 
use of the word "value" is strange, for it derives from eco- 
nomics. It has some relation to the ledger and therefore has 
a good, old, reassuring tone, reminding one of the "good 
values" that a housewife admires on a bargain counter. Other 
words derive from the social sciences. Educators speak of 
prostitutes and prostitution as "anti-social beings" and "anti- 
social behavior." Such phrases have a queer, dehydrated, syn- 
thetic flavor and suggest that the bones of our morality have 
been picked pretty clean. We don't reform a drunkard any 
more, we just "readjust" him to society as we readjust a watch, 
or even possibly "acclimatize" him to a new environment. A 
successful or unsuccessful man is an "integrated" or "divided" 
or "maladjusted" personality. The words of the modern tongue 
are getting increasingly mechanical. Both a political party and 
a motor-car are a "machine." Public sentiments are "response'* 
or "reactions," diplomatic communications are "pressure," 
and a popular attitude is just "habitual mass-conditioning," 
Pride is "inflated ego," bravado is a "defense mechanism," 
criticism is an "outlet," and something or other is a "safety 
valve," and somebody out of a job is just a "dislocated" indi- 
vidual. 

I am choosing very general terms that have nothing to do 
with a personal style, and I exclude such specific academic 
jargon of sociologists and psychologists as "processes of equal- 
ization of satisfaction value," "emotive reaction," "ideational 
reorientation," and "associative memory response." The plain 
fact is, we are scared not only of moral judgments, but of all 
normal emotions. Our morality is getting a little synthetic and 
is served up to the public in dehydrated essences. But if any- 
body tells me that psychologists who talk of "associative mem- 
ory response" can educate good human beings or sociologists 
who talk of "equalization of satisfaction value" can help the 



CHARACTER OF THE MODERN AGE 169 

society o man, I simply refuse to believe him. In an interesting 
article on this type of "pedagese" in The American Scholar 
(Winter, 1942-1943), the writer quotes such interesting curiosi- 
ties from teachers who are supposed to teach our young and to 
communicate some kind of enthusiasm for learning. "The 
Reduction of Data Showing Non-Linear Regression for Cor- 
relation by the Ordinary Product-Moment Formula; and the 
Measurement of Error Due to Curvilinear Regression" was the 
tide of a paper read before the Psychology Section of the 
American Association for the Advancement of Learning! The 
development of a child's interest in history or geography or 
wit or wisdom is to be discovered by "an extension o the 
Kelley-Wood and the Kondo-Elderton Tables of Abscissae of 
the Unit Normal Curve, for Areas (%a) between 4500 and 
.49999 99999." When I see such teachers, shall I not say like 
Jesus, "Suffer the little children to come unto me"? The ma- 
chine has been substituted for the man, and one could feel 
from the use of these mechanical terms that the human mind 
itself is being changed and that a kind of scientific formalin 
is taking the place of human blood in our blood vessels. 
Through the Funeral Directory of Science we must go and 
have our blood replaced by formalin before we can come out 
as university professors and teachers of this age. The human 
mind itself is a "track," single or double. God Himself is a 
sort of Center of Gravity. Only the dollar is still a dollar, unless 
it is fifty-nine cents. 

And so, before we can understand ourselves and this age, 
we must understand the roots of our present thinking, and see 
how we came to think in this curious twentieth-century way 
at all. Why have the standards changed? Why has our con- 
ception of man changed? Why has the meaning of life gone? 
Why, in particular, do we come to be the cynics, pessimists, 
and hard-boiled "realists'* that we are even in .the midst of 
a war for democracy? Materialists must fight to the end of 



170 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

eternity. Materialists cannot end war or create peace. They have 
not the brains for it. Why, then, are we materialists? 

Let us take the idea of Freedom, and see how its basis is 
failing. We shall see how the very content of Freedom has 
changed, because the idea of man's "rights," on which Free- 
dom is based, has changed. 

But first I must make clear that two of the Four Freedoms 
are not freedoms at all, and one of them has no meaning for 
me* A study of the Four Freedoms reveals that there are two 
'"doubles" masquerading as Freedom that the Devil Economics 
has put there. Freedom from fear is not freedom, but political 
security* Freedom from want is not freedom, but economic 
security. Both may be achieved at the cost of human freedom, 
and probably will, i we think too much about animal security. 
Nothing gives such a feeling of perfect freedom from want 
and fear to a dog as a collar around its neck. Its next meal is 
guaranteed. A bird in a cage has exchanged its freedom on 
the wing for freedom from the preying hawk and freedom 
from starvation in the snow. But a bird which deliberately 
flies into a cage cannot be said to be fighting for its freedom 
except by the most caustic casuistry. It is a mere trick of the 
English language, and "freedom from want" or "fear" is 
untranslatable into Chinese or French. What is "libertc de 
misere" or "liberte de peur"? We may, if we like, easily add a 
few more freedoms, like "Freedom from Disease," which is 
health, and "Freedom from Dirt," which is cleanliness, and 
"Freedom from the Telephone/* which is peace and rest, 
ad infinitum. The Indians might add "Freedom from Eng- 
land," which is genuine human and political freedom. And 
so when we speak of freedom, we must stick to the original 
meaning of the term, without **of" and without "from" 
just plain good old freedom human freedom. It is possible 
for man to have all the Four Freedoms the freedom to talk 
and think as he pleases and to be fed and sheltered in security 
and yet be a slave. 



CHARACTER OF THE MODERN AGE 171 

The freedom of belief has a peculiarly American and 
seventeenth-century context, for the people of the Thirteen Col- 
onies were pilgrims or religious refugees, who came to America 
that they might worship the God they chose and in the way 
they chose. But freedom of belief does not have such a ring 
in Chinese ears; it has absolutely no meaning to a Chinese, and 
it is not what the Chinese are fighting for. In the absence of 
religious wars and persecutions, freedom of belief is just ac- 
cepted in Chinese national life; to fight for it is like taking 
an oath to fight for and maintain the blueness of the sky. 
Freedom of speech has been interfered with in certain periods 
of Chinese history, as in western democracies, and therefore 
it has still some meaning. But it is not broad enough, 
and is distinctly less comprehensive than just human freedom. 
I would not go to war with anybody just to protect freedom 
of speech; I could do with silence, or get around it to say 
all I want to say without landing in jail. I would consider as 
a worthy objective of this war only good old freedom, the 
freedom of all races and all peoples on this earth. On this 
issue we may not evade. Nor may we be less explicit about 
the freedom of the individual. 

Nevertheless, the word "Freedom" has still a beautiful ring 
in America and the world. It means that the common people 
still believe in it in plain old, human freedom. It is a slightly 
overused coin, but it is still a good penny. You can still set 
not only Americans, but Hindus, Chinese, Greeks, Negroes, 
and Finns fighting for it, with the blood surging in their 
veins. And that is what the majority of the peoples of the 
world are fighting for. To me it is a sort of come-down and 
sounds a little comical, as it must sound to the humorous 
American soldier, to say "Kill the Japs! Kill the Germans! 
So that you may come back and only work 40 hours a week 
at $75.00, with medical insurance and time and a half for 
overtime!" My blood reaction would not register. Something 
must be wrong with the economic view of man. 



172 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

But how did the idea of "freedom." arise? How did the 
Rights of Man arise? How did that word happen to have 
that fine, revolutionary ring to it? It was created as an answer 
to oppression and a call to rebellion. When circumstances of 
political oppression exist, the word "freedom" always recovers 
that rousing, revolutionary ring. When Patrick Henry shouted, 
"Give me liberty or give me death/' it reached depths in the 
hearts of the American people, because the oppression was 
there. When Jawaharlal Nehru shouts, "Give me liberty or 
give me death," it leaves the Bertrand Russells and Norman 
Angells cold because they don't happen to be the oppressed* 
Even to the Americans, it is something so remote that it is 
less important than diplomatic etiquette; silence is preferable 
to breaking the punctilio between the august governments. To 
intervene on the principle of a nation's freedom would be 
almost as bad as putting the wife of the British Ambassador 
below the wife of the Brazilian Minister at a Washington dip- 
lomatic dinner* It would be almost uncivilized. Dr. Wellington 
Koo is said to have intervened on behalf of the Chinese Gov- 
ernment for India before his departure. But it was such a 
hideous faux pas that Winston Churchill is reported to have 
told him that if the Chinese Government did not stop inter- 
vening in the matter, British-Chinese relations would be seri- 
ously endangered! That is how far the word "freedom" has 
fallen in the thinking of man in the twentieth century! 

In the eighteenth century freedom came in with the human 
"rights." Now it happens both "human rights" and the mod- 
ern "economic rights" are myths, from a philosophical stand- 
point. They were, and are, simply things that men strongly 
believed or believe in. Like God and the soul, these "rights" 
could never be proved. If we want them badly enough, we say 
God gave them to us. Like the Divine Right of Kings, they 
were categorical statements* Heine called the Divine Right of 
Kings "the twaddle of tonsured quacks," And so the Rights 
of Man had also a theological basis. Thomas Jefferson held 



CHARACTER OF THE MODERN AGE 173 

these truths to be "self-evident." Moreover, we were "created 
equal" and "born free" and these rights were "unalienable," 
so that metaphysically neither King nor God could take them 
away from us. But how did we know that we were "created 
equal," or "born free"? We simply chose to believe so. But 
Rousseau's naive picture of the savage and the natural man has 
long been exploded by science. That man is "born free" was 
merely a statement of passionate belief. Like the Divine Right 
of Kings, it had no rational or scientific basis, and when men 
were ready to discard them, they simply withdrew the theo- 
logical structure from underneath. Historically, different na- 
tions have spoken of "rights of commerce," "rights to trade" 
in other countries, and simultaneously the rights to exclude 
others from trade or labor in their own country; conquering 
nations speak of "the right to expansion" or to "living space"; 
a few go further and discover a Divine Destiny to Rule a par- 
ticular region, and fishing nations speak of the "right to take 
salmon." 

Similarly, when we want the right to a job or employment 
badly enough, we shall also be speaking of the "divine right 
to work," or to a salary or pension, or that men are "born em- 
ployed," and at times it may even look more important to be 
"born employed" than to be "born free" or "born equal." If 
we don't look out, someday we may discover that we are "born 
to a coupon," with the "inalienable right to a coupon" that 
no one shall metaphysically be able to take away from us. 
Fundamentally, that is why we are forsaking the human 
rights and switching over to the economic rights. 

So then the spiritual "values" are slipping and leave a 
vacuum. Liberte, egalite, jraternite have lost their prophetic 
Messianic ring. Equalitarianism seems to have fallen into dis- 
repute. Democratic values, economic values, security values are 
being thrown into a witches' cauldron from which arises only 
a steam stinking with a strong totalitarian smell. Into this 
vacuum rush the confusing ideologies, and Communists, Social- 



174 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

ists and Democrats exchange blows in the dark, not knowing 
who is fighting whom. Stalin is calling the U.S.S.R. a "democ- 
racy," and the Archbishop of Canterbury may be properly 
classified as a "red" by the N. Y. Journal-American. As for 
Petain, he needs no ideology for his regime at all; it is neither 
Fascist, nor Socialist, nor Republican; he is neither Fuehrer, nor 
Duce, nor Dictator, nor President. For his ideology, he merely 
gasps "Work, Home, and Country!" No, it does not look as if 
there is going to be peace in Europe. The good old values 
have gone. 

But while we are arguing about the content of freedom and 
raising the question whether the concept of human freedom 
has not changed, we are threatened with another more serious 
and more fundamental matter, which has come about entirely 
unnoticed, and that is, Freedom of the Will has disappeared. 
Unless we recapture freedom of the will, we shall not have the 
strength to restore human freedom, and unless we restore 
human freedom, we shall accomplish nothing with the Four 
Freedoms, even if we attain them. Why has the Freedom of 
the Will disappeared? 



20 

ORIGINS OF THE MECHANISTIC MIND 

SUPPOSE we put the matter this way. Power politics is gun- 
powder politics, and gunpowder politics must end in an explo- 
sion. Power politics works with the balance of power, like two 
supercharged carbons, steadily approaching each other from a 
distance. As the machines advance, power accumulates, and 
the final explosions inevitably grow bigger and bigger. We 
have now reached the stage when explosions of power politics 
are global in scope. Playing with power politics today is play- 



ORIGINS OF THE MECHANISTIC MIND 175 

ing with fire. Meanwhile, our moral development lags behind; 
our thinking is national and not global The fact must be faced 
at this moment that world politics is power politics and it is- 
the only politics we \now or can conceivably practice, and that 
we are in certainty heading for still greater wars and conflicts, 
however the combination? of power may alter. And we are 
accepting this fact with a sense of fatalistic resignation. We 
have to admit that all our statesmen are power politicians, that 
both the conduct of the war and the conception of the peace 
are based on the principle of power politics. We believe that 
force will continue to rule the world. Professor Spykman is 
probably right in saying that after the war we shall start where 
we left of?, and world politics will continue to be based on a 
power pattern. If we accept this thesis, it means that we are 
heading for greater and greater world struggles until finally 
one tyrant power dominates all the rest, or European civiliza- 
tion goes down in ruins before that point is reached* 

But if you ask, why must we go on with power politics, even 
though we clearly see the end, the answer is a mechanistic 
conception of human life that there is a sort of mechanical 
inevitability about it, and that we can do nothing about it, 
much as we would wish to. There is the naturalistic view of 
the struggle of nations for survival, there is the fundamental 
materialistic background, and there is the determinism of 
human aflf airs which we have unconsciously borrowed from a 
deterministic view of the physical universe as governed by 
mechanistic laws. All these viewpoints smack of "science" and 
give them a certain respectable character. From this point on, 
power politics assumes not a divine sanction, but a kind of 
scientific sanction, and political "realism" is identified with 
clear scientific thinking, while any form of sentimental ideal- 
ism is suspect of being "moronic." This mechanistic conception 
of human life naturally ends in despair: after all, human 
society is a jungle fight for survival. It is almost as if one would 
say, "We would rather walk with our eyes open to Hell in this 



176 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

life-and-death struggle of nations for power, than be senti- 
mental idiots that dream about a heaven of peace that nowhere 
exists and may the Devil take the hindmost!" 

How did the modern man come to think this way? Psycho- 
analytic patients are told to go over their childhood history 
and search the hidden corners of their souls for frustrations, 
fixations, and complexes, and thus come to understand them- 
selves. Reminiscence brings detachment and understanding 
and understanding brings emancipation. A little reminiscing 
across the centuries will do the world a lot of good. The mod- 
ern world will then understand itself. How did we come to 
be naturalists, determinists, and materialists? 

The dead hand of Science Is upon the West. Science or the 
objective study of matter has colored man's thinking and 
brought us all three, Naturalism, Determinism, and Material- 
Ism. Science therefore has destroyed the human values. Natu- 
ralism has destroyed the belief in the power for good and 
co-operation. Materialism has destroyed subtlety and insight 
and faith in things unseen. Determinism has destroyed the 
capacity for hope. 

I know that the natural scientists will not be offended; in 
fact, they will all agree with me and protest the loudest that 
their method and their point of view have been stolen and 
applied to illegitimate fields, for which they are entirely without 
responsibility. The line between natural sciences and the human 
studies must be sharply redrawn; the very standards of truth 
in both branches of study must be kept distinct. Science deals 
with facts, and the human studies deal with values, and neither 
need ape the other's technique. Science deals by definition with 
exact, classified knowledge, and there is a large realm of im- 
portant human knowledge that cannot be exact or classified. 
If science cannot with its test tubes and chemical agents, pro- 
duce an answer to such a simple question as "why I like you/* 
how can it possibly deal with the question of human relations? 

But we have now confused the two groups: human and 



ORIGINS OF THE MECHANISTIC MIND 177 

natural studies, and a dangerous result follows. The natural 
scientist says merely, "God, freedom, and the goodness of man 
are not exact knowledge, and do not lie in my field." But the 
unnatural scientist, the professor of human studies, says, "God, 
freedom, and the goodness of man lie within my department, 
but they cannot be handled scientifically, and if I wish to be a 
scientist, which certainly I do, I am compelled to ignore them 
and look somewhere else for mechanical laws. Only in that 
way can I hope to be modern and keep my job. Furthermore, 
since science cannot discover God, the soul, and the goodness 
of man, perhaps they do not exist at all." There the confusion 
begins. The natural scientist says, "I am only interested in facts.' 5 
It is the unnatural scientist, compelled to deal with human 
values but nevertheless feeling bound to ape the scientist's tech- 
nique, who says, "I am interested in facts also. Neither God, 
nor freedom, nor the soul is a demonstrable fact. We simply 
have no means of handling them, and therefore must ignore 
them, except insofar as they have a body, if any." The natural 
scientist says, "I measure electric volts and radio waves and 
plot curves." The unnatural scientist says, "I want to measure 
and to plot curves also. I want to measure hope, aspirations, 
ideas, God, and freedom, and I cannot do so. But I can measure 
populations, birth-rates, food supplies, mechanical response to 
stimuli, the consonants and vowels of poetry, export and import 
figures, and the influence of physical environment. In that 
direction alone lies my hope of being called a scientist." 

Since the human studies had to.be "sciences," they had to 
deal with those physical factors of man and of human history 
which the scientific technique could handle, and it could han- 
dle always only the material. The outstanding contributions 
of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the human studies 
have therefore been along the lines of the influence of physical 
factors, of climate upon history (Huntington), of occupation 
upon outlook (Marx), of heredity upon character (Lombroso), 
of race upon history (Houston Stewart Chamberlain), of en- 



178 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

vironment upon ethics (Westermarck), of eyestrain upon 
genius (some German doctor), and I shall not be surprised if 
some historian is able to prove the influence of African beetroots 
on die Napoleonic war., or if some new prophet is able to 
demonstrate the influence of nutrition on good morals, or of 
riboflavin on optimistic thinking. It will be typically modern, 
and it will sound immensely wise. Many of these are contribu- 
tions to human thought; some are illuminating, some are laud- 
able, but all of them seem to suffer from a mental squint, 

It is easy therefore to understand the direction of intellectual 
development of the past century, characterized by this tech- 
nique borrowed from the natural sciences. But along with the 
change of technique came inevitably a change in Weltanschau- 
ung, which is a materialistic view of man and of human history 
and the forces governing our lives. Each little contribution 
emphasized this aberration slightly, but the total result has 
turned out to be frightening, as we can see now. 

Hence arise the conscientious, diligent fact-finding and fact- 
verification of Niebuhr and Ranke and the economic inter- 
pretation of history of Charles A. Beard, the physiological 
psychology of Wundt and the behaviorist psychology of J. B. 
Watson, the "experimental novel" of Zola and the postmortem 
"realism" of Dreiser and Farrell, the literary criticism of Taine 
and the research into "origins" of Renan, the "social physics" 
of Comte and the "materialistic dialectic" of Marx, the "onto- 
logical criticism" of poetry of some academic professor and the 
"comparisons" and "influences" of comparative literature of our 
postgraduate schools, the incestuous complex of Freud and the 
looking for the soul (Psyche) in the a&us-tomons-veneris area 
of the psychoanalysts. The whole structure of psychoanalysis 
falls if there is no seat to our pants. And symbolizing this uni- 
versal break-up, we have the coterie small talk of T. S. Eliot, 
the lugubrious self-dissection and exhibitionism of Joyce, and 
the retreat from harmony of Stravinsky, the retreat from beauty 
of Picasso, the retreat from logic and sanity of Dali, and the 



ORIGINS OF THE MECHANISTIC MIND 179 

retreat from grammar of Gertrude Stein. In world politics it 
emerges as the "cultural morphology" of Spengler, the geo- 
politics of Haushofer, and the economic panacea of Cordell 
Hull In the conduct of this war, it becomes the absence of 
spiritual principles in dealing with Asia and North Africa. 
Every one of these tendencies smacks of the "scientific." But 
good taste has vanished, and the meaning of life, apart from 
assurance of the next meal, has become zero. The only whimper 
we can hear now is, "Give me security, or give me death! Put 
me in a collectivistic jail if you want, but give me a meal ticket 
and an old-age coupon!" What a come-down for a revolu- 
tionist! What amazing contrast to the hope of man in the 
eighteenth century! 

For having dealt so successfully with matter, man has be- 
come a part of matter. The idea of the nature of man has 
changed. The force of "ideas" itself has been rejected in history. 
The study of potsherds has replaced that of the ambitions and 
loves and hatreds of man in history. Homer is getting better 
understood, or at least verified, by measurements of broken 
tiles in ancient Trojan ruins. Historians are more interested in 
the chamber pots used by Egyptian queens than in their pas- 
sions and wiles. The search for facts and verification of facts 
goes on. And a professor of history, holding a precious broken 
Etruscan jar, exclaims with satisfaction, "We know history." 

The search for verifiable facts goes on. While historians 
measure potsherds, educators measure man's intelligence, crim- 
inologists measure human skulls, psychologists measure our im- 
pulses and response, geographers measure inches of rainfall, 
and geopoliticians measure the supply of oil in the Caucasus. 
If potsherds are understood, history is established; if units of 
knowledge are properly measured, education is successful; if 
skulls, jaws, and ears are measured, criminals are as under- 
standable as a washing machine; if impulses and response are 
properly studied, the whole of man's psyche, his intellect, imag- 
ination, will, and ambition and idiosyncrasies are revealed; if 



i8o BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

rainfall is measured, the rise and decline of civilizations are 
accounted for; if the control of oil supply is assured, the war 
is won. 

And man has become an atom in a whirling machine, made 
from the star-dust of some exploded universe* Glands, vessels 
and liquids make up our bodies, as mechanical inhibitions, 
conditioned reflexes and complexes make up our minds. Of 
physical hunger, we know a great deal, of spiritual hunger we 
know next to nothing. Desires are urges, over which we have 
as little control as the shape of our skulls* Man is a chemical 
compound, acted upon by secretions from within and environ- 
ment from without The elusive Psyche, unknown, unverifiable, 
and uncared for, has taken wings and gone. The rainbow has 
been successfully dissected, the childhood wonder and fancy 
have gone, and the world has grown gray with us. 

Professor Hocking, in one of the most intuitive passages of 
modern writing, has summarized it well: 

It is not strange that with the complete victory, scientific 
method overshot its mark. Instead of saying, "We have 
no place for the purposes or values of things in our labora- 
tories," it said in effect, "We have now dismissed purposes 
and values from the universe." There was a certain satis- 
faction in a clean sweep: the tedious announcements of 
the precise purposes of God by pious moralizers could not 
come back. And so long as science was mainly occupied 
with the stars and the atoms, this vacuum of value caused 
no uneasiness. 

But the time was to come when science turned its well- 
trained objective eye on living things and on man. The 
sciences of psychology and sociology rose like tropical suns, 
endowed with the initial momentum of an inherited 
method. Psychology was to be a sort of physics of the 
passions and thoughts; and man was to be a thing of fact 
and law. This seemed to be a little hard on freedom, for 



ORIGINS OF THE MECHANISTIC MIND 181 

it inserted the human body exactly and without remainder 
into the mathematically perfect, and therefore calculable, 
channels of physical necessity. But, after all, one must yield 
to the combined force of fact and method; man may quite 
well retain his feeling of freedom, without actually 'being 
free from the laws of nature. So it was assumed. 

What was not at first noticed is that man had become 
meaningless. He had become an integral part of the astro- 
nomical machine, which had already been renovated and 
all lurking values thrown into the rubbish heap. The 
universe was not going anywhere, it was just going! And 
if the whole show has no purpose, then the human part of 
ithowever it may feel to itself is again just a fact, a 
complex and interesting fact, but a transitory fact, together 
with all its achievements and so-called civilizations. While 
it is going on, it may glow with subjective light and 
warmth: but the truth lies with the final sum, and the 
final sum is a zero of meaning. 33 

It has never been sufficiently pointed out that Hitler's ethics 
and politics had something to do with this century and a half 
of European development. Nor has it been pointed out that 
Hitler's glorification of the irrational (subjection of reason and 
glorification of the primitive) coincided exactly in time with 
the glorification of the irrational in Stravinsky, Gertrude Stein, 
Dali, and Epstein. In fact, it went back to the Romantic revolt 
against reason, the restoration of the brute will in Nietzsche, 
and the postmortem picture of the nineteenth century in Max 
Nordau. Any analysis of the origins of Nazi thought as ex- 
clusively Germanic, which excludes the elements of general 
decay in all western Europe, is self-deceptive. The zero of 
meaning had been reached: the intellectual atmosphere had 
been sufficiently purged of classical concepts by a host of scien- 
tific researchers; the last glow of Mid-Victorian ethics had gone 

85 William Ernest Hocking, What Man Can Makf of Mm (Harper), pp. 31-32. 



182 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

out; man had in Europe's mind become a mechanistic animal 
fighting in a fury of blind atoms governed by blind forces. 
Hitler merely stepped into the vacuum. Otherwise the question 
"How come Hitler?" can never be answered. 
I have written elsewhere: 

It can be proved that the world has gone to pieces as a 
direct result of scientific materialism invading our litera- 
ture and thought. The professors of the humanities are 
reduced to the position of finding mechanistic laws govern- 
ing human activities, and the more rigorous the "natural 
laws" can be proved to be, and the more freedom of the 
will is proved to be a chimera, the greater is the professor's 
intellectual delight . . . For scientific materialism must 
spell determinism and determinism must spell despair. It 
is therefore no accident that the most admired spirits of 
our times, not the greatest, but the most in vogue, are 
pessimists. Our international chaos is founded upon our 
philosophic despair. 84 

So now when we ask the professor of the humanities, "What 
are you yourself? 7 ' the professor can only reply, brows knitted 
and head low, "I am a fact also." Where is the call for moral 
effort, the ringing voice of St. Paul to enter the good race, and 
the rousing, resounding call of Buddha to achieve the highest 
of freedoms, the freedom of the spirit? Buddha at least under- 
stands the freedom of the will> the power of the human spirit 
to overcome and transcend the wheel of the material world: 

Rouse thyself by thyself, examine thyself by thyself; thus 
self-protected and attentive wilt thou live happily, O Bikk- 
shu! 

For self is the lord of self, self is the refuge of self; there- 
fore curb thyself as the merchant curbs a noble horse. 

34 The Wisdom of China and India, p. 574. 



ORIGINS OF THE MECHANISTIC MIND 183 

By one's self the evil is done, by one's self one suffers; 
by one's self evil is left undone, by one's self one is puri- 
fied. The pure and the impure stand and fall by them- 
selves, no one can purify another* 

You yourself must make an effort. The Tathagatas 
(Buddhas) are only preachers. The thoughtful who enter 
the way are freed from the bondage of Mara. 35 

Perhaps we have the freedom of will and of effort From this 
belief in the power of the spirit and the human will come the 
faith and strength and joy of Buddha in man's struggle against 
the Evil ("Mara") and the bondage of illusion ("Maya"). 

If anything is to be done, let a man do it, let him attack 
it vigorously! A careless pilgrim only scatters the dust of 
passion more widely. 

If a man commits a sin, let him. not do it again; let him 
not delight in sin: the accumulation of evil is painfuL 

If a man does what is good, let him do it again, let him 
delight in it: the accumulation of good is delightful. 

Earnest among the thoughtless, awake among the sleepers, 
the wise man advances like a racer, leaving behind the 
hack. 

He whose conquests cannot be reconquered, into whose 
conquest no one in this world enters, by what track can 
you lead him, the Awakened, the Omniscient, the track- 
less? 

He whom no desire with its snares and poison can lead 
astray, by what track can you lead him, the Awakened, 
the Omniscient, the trackless? 

Who knows but Buddha may be scientifically more correct 
than J. B. Watson? Fatalism, in the form of scientific deter- 
minism, is perhaps the world's last modern superstition. A 

** Dhammctpada. See Wisdom of China and India, pp. 321-326. 



184 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

fellow can at least have the courage of his convictions, and 
stand alone, if necessary. 

If a traveler does not meet with one who is better, or 
his equal, let him keep to his solitary journey; there is 
no companionship with a fooL 

I, for one, shall not join the international fellowship of fools. 

Perhaps the world of power politics is only an illusion, in 
Buddhist terms a "Maya." Perhaps determinism in human 
affairs is a mirage we create to delude ourselves. Perhaps the 
prophecy of necessary conflict of power and ruin is such an 
illusion, and we are merely in the temporary grip of its power, 
coming barely a century after the fashion for the talk of me- 
chanical laws began. Perhaps we can change the world we 
make for ourselves. Is this a sermon? No, it is a prayer* 

Or, the world shall progress from power to greater agglom- 
eration of powers, from conflict to greater conflicts. The politics 
of democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy are known; the poli- 
tics of a world state are not yet even born. The first principles 
of world democracy, which must be like those of a state democ- 
racy; based on the consent of the governed, are not yet estab- 
lished. The world state shall be shaped like a plutocracy, or an 
oligarchy of the rich, and shall be as insecure as an oligarchy, 
with a caste of citizens and a caste of slaves. Government shall 
be based essentially on coercion, and not on consent. There will 
be rebellion of the masses and bloodshed, and a tyrant shall 
take the place of the oligarchs, when they are exhausted after 
fighting the masses and fighting among themselves. For after 
every revolution and period of chaos appears a tyrant. After 
the oligarch nations shall have exhausted themselves in a series 
of wars, a world tyrant, bidding for the support of the masses, 
shall arise and dominate the world. Is this a prophecy? No* 
it is a warning. 

But some of our leaders have misconstrued the nature of 



ORIGINS OF THE MECHANISTIC MIND 185 

the world conflict and the present world revolution. The cen- 
tral issue of empire versus world freedom remains unrecog- 
nized and unsolved. Some imagine they can fight for empire 
and freedom at the same time. Winston Churchill is proceeding 
upon the principles of Pericles. Judged by the principles of the 
empire, England could have no better and stronger premier. 
He has the firmness of Lord Clive and Warren Hastings, the 
singleness of purpose of William Pitt, the astuteness and sense 
of timing of Disraeli. At a time of national unpreparedness he 
galvanized the nation with an iron will; in the hour of danger 
he stood firm; toward rebellions he showed uncompromising 
strength; when public convictions were failing, he restored 
impeccable faith in the good old British Empire. But while 
Disraelis and William Pitts may have been good enough for 
the Great Britain of the nineteenth and eighteenth centuries, 
they are not good enough for the modern world. For Churchill 
has misread the signs of the times. Is this the voice of hostile 
criticism? No, it is the voice of a friend. 

If I do not misinterpret Winston Churchill, he is fighting a 
twentieth-century war in order to take off his boots after the 
war and climb back into a nineteenth-century bed, comfortably 
mattressed in India, Singapore, and Hong Kong. He has the 
admirable tenacity of the English bulldog, and also its intelli- 
gence. Judged by Empire standards, he is a giant; judged by 
some future and better world, he is no better and no worse 
than Cato shouting, "Delenda est Carthago T 'He may even 
emerge as Scipio the Younger himself, but I seemed to see the 
Punic Wars being fought all over again, as Rommel and Mont- 
gomery struggled in Tunisia for the ancient site of Carthage. 
To me at present, this seems like the Fourth Punic War. Some 
Hannibal may invade Italy via Spain with tanks instead of 
elephants, but the struggle for supremacy over the Mediter- 
ranean is neither modern nor ancient. What makes war is still 
the same. 



186 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 



21 

SCIENCE TO THE RESCUE 

SO WE can understand ourselves and this age when people 
say that it is materialistic. The taunt about "a quart of milk a 
day for Hottentots" is a canard thrown in Vice-President Wal- 
lace's face by isolationists: but basically it is true of all modern 
thinking. I am for Wallace and for world co-operation, but not 

for "a quart of milk " For there could be no better vision of 

world peace for this Age than a quart of milk a day for every- 
body, particularly pasteurized milk. Raising the standard of 
living is the utmost we can conceive of. It almost seems to say, 
"Give a fellow a quart of milk a day, and he will be a good 
man, a Just man, and a free and contented man. Give the 
world a quart of milk a day, and it will be a good world, a 
just world, and a free and contented world. If there are only 
enough cows and timothy grass, the problems of world peace 
are solved." 

So now the money-changers have converted God's temple 
into a Stock Exchange, and the smell of metallic lucre has 
blended with the smell of the cedars of Lebanon. That was 
what so annoyed Jesus and made him take out his whip of 
cords. I wonder that it does not annoy the followers of Christ. 
I know that there is a philosophy of living among the people 
of any land, with or without Christianity; no nation ever ex- 
isted, or could exist, without its mores, or its body of moral 
tradition. The Chinese believe, "The four moorings of the ship 
of state are: courtesy, justice, integrity and sense of honor." m 
In Christian lands, this body of moral tradition takes the form 
of Christianity. But the world is shifting; scientific materialism 

^Saying by Kuantse, seventh century B.C. The book ascribed to Hm was prob- 
ably composed or interpolated several centuries later. 



SCIENCE TO THE RESCUE 187 

has cut Christian faith from under. Christianity has nothing 
to do with modern politics or business, and it is politics and 
business that are shaping our lives. The case of the world is 
a case of belief versus disbelief. 

The search for belief is everybody's business, for in a world 
of international chaos following the disappearance of belief, 
the scientist is affected as much as the preacher. In a shipwreck 
the engineer sinks with the stoker. It is as much the scientist's 
business to inquire about man's faith as it is the preacher's to 
inquire about science, for both are merely searching for some 
meaning in life, some sustaining faith. The restitution of the 
values of human life is die first job of modern man's intelli- 
gence. 

The rainbow has been dissected, the childhood wonder and 
fancy have gone, and the world has gone gray with us. Yet 
has the wonder gone ? The public as little understands science 
as it understands the vitamin pills which it takes every day. 
In a great scientist, curiosity has never killed wonder. For 
today it is science itself that has opened up the world of 
wonder, and curiosity arouses a greater, unquenchable curiosity. 
Great knowledge always brings humility. Today it is great 
doctors who confess to you privately that they don't know how 
diseases are cured, and it is the greatest scientists who tell you 
they don't know what is matter and why it behaves the way it 
does. The verification of processes has not helped the inquiry 
into primary causes or objectives. The study of the color of 
butterfly wings has only made the problem more complex 
than before; electron microscopes have shown tiny skyscrapers 
erected on the wings' surface with floors built 50 that their 
height corresponds with the wave length of blue or violet rays. 
Science never tells you who builds these microscopic sky- 
scrapers, or who tells the butterfly to do so. The arrival of the 
fittest seems harder than ever to explain, and the Darwinian 
concept of chance variations must sound unconvincing and fall 
to the ground. Today it is science that will teach us humility. 



i88 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

On the basis of humility alone will science and religion be 
reunited. 

But more than that, science is destroying matter and there- 
fore destroying materialism itself. Science starts out with 
mathematics to examine the universe and is now returning 
the universe to mathematics. The wise scientist has pretty well 
washed his hands of matter. He has reduced liquids, solids, 
light, color, smell, sound, and all the physical properties of mat- 
ter to certain mathematical formulas beyond which there exists 
nothing that he knows, or claims to know. A solid table has 
become empty space; an atom is like a half-mile-long jai-alai 
stadium without walls in which tiny balls swirl about, and a 
molecule is like a series of open-air jai-alai stadiums, held to- 
gether without visible or material adjoining walls. A conglom- 
eration of matter is only a "field" of action, and the balls 
themselves have neither mass nor volume. Matter itself has 
been spirited away, and the laws of matter no longer operate 
in the core of things of this universe. The universe is more 
like a ghost than like a machine. And so the scientists them- 
selves have become less "materialistic" than the great of the 
Stock Exchange. 

But the destruction of the conventional notion of matter at 
once involves also the destruction of the nineteenth-century 
mechanistic concept of the universe. It is interesting to note 
that Sir James Jeans, in his latest book, Physics and Philosophy, 
also strikes upon the problem of determinism versus free will 
as influenced by the changing concepts of matter itself. While 
his attitude is strictly "scientific" and he is hesitant in drawing 
conclusions about the end of "materialism" and "determinism," 
calling it mainly a question of terminology, he does say, 

At least the new physics has shown that the problems 
of causality and free-will are in need of a new formula- 
tion. . . . The classical physics seemed to bolt and bar the 
door leading to any sort of freedom of the will; the new 



SCIENCE TO THE RESCUE 189 

physics hardly does this; it almost seems to suggest that 
the door may be unlocked if we could only find the 
handle. The old physics showed us a universe which 
looked more like a prison than a dwelling-place. The new 
physics shows us a universe which looks as though it 
might conceivably form a suitable dwelling-place for free 
men, and not a mere shelter for brutes a home in which 
it* may at least be possible for us to mould events to our 
desires and live lives of endeavor and achievement . . * 
[Whether we continue to call matter "matter" or not] 
what remains is in any case very diff erent from the full- 
blooded matter and the forbidding materialism of the 
Victorian scientist His objective and material universe is 
proved to consist of little more than constructs of our own 
minds. In this and in other ways, modern physics has 
moved in the direction of mentalism. 37 

If scientific materialism and Darwinian naturalism of the 
nineteenth century colored man's mind and produced in the 
course of time political and economic materialism, so it is in- 
evitable that today science's repudiation of the conventional 
notion of "matter" must also in the course of time color man's 
mind, cause a slump in materialistic values, and completely 
alter the mechanistic qualities of the thinking of this age* 
Someday we shall speak of "fields" of moral action and attrac- 
tion and the "time-space-continuum" of historical development, 
in which not a particle of matter ever operated in history's 
judgment In such a world, only "ideas" without mass or 
weight or volume will be accounted as real. So must man's 
mind be made in the image of the universe he knows. Science 
is spiritualizing the whole universe, but it takes years to pro- 
duce the philosophic effect. 

But science has not only destroyed the traditional concept 
of matter; it has produced a concept of relativity, whose full 

37 Physics and Philosophy by Sk James Jeans (Macmillan, 1943) pp. 215-216. 



igo BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

philosophic import will not be made plain until decades from 
now. Relativity is merely the road to mysticism through math- 
ematics. By grappling with the ultimates of time and space 
and motion, it has struck at their very foundations; by holding 
or assuming that space is curved and time probably the bor- 
rowed embodiment of motion in our minds, both being in fact 
mathematically interchangeable with motion itself, it has 
brought us closer to a theory of the rhythm of life. 

At last, the pulse beat of the universe is better understood. 
The straight line, square space, and rectilinear time are the 
last conventions of thinking to be exploded by science, follow- 
ing the explosion of the myth of the flat earth. If the universe 
is not infinite, it must be round, and cannot be square. But if 
the universe itself is round, there can be no absolute straight 
lines, for every straight line curves invisibly. Briefly, this 
"roundness" is as incomprehensible to us as the roundness of 
the earth must be to two ants crawling on two parallel longi- 
tudinal lines somewhere in Wisconsin, both making for straight 
north. With the roundness of the earth, the Far East has actu- 
ally become the Far West of America, and an Eskimo going 
steadily north will strike upon Australia or New Zealand. The 
same thing must be true of the lines and directions of a round 
universe, of which the earth is considerably less than a sugges- 
tion of a microscopic speck. 

The universe therefore consists only of circles and their 
modifications. Any "circulist" picture (my own term) will 
present a better and truer picture of life and motion and ma- 
terial objects than a cubist picture. Cubism is scientifically 
incorrect; even light impulses move in waves. In the very 
pointed lines of cubism, I see only the harshness of the modern 
spirit. 

And so the true historian can draw a picture of human his- 
tory only in curves also, with constant emerging and submerg- 
ing and blending of cycles. The Chinese Taoists knew this 
well; the whole yin-yang concept was based upon the wave the- 



SCIENCE TO THE RESCUE 191 

cry. Emerson in his essay on "Circles" understood this principle 
of life also. The ultimate mysticism of the universe is the 
rhythm of life which annihilates all distinctions, or as Chuang- 
tse put it in his famous essay, "the levelling of all things" As 
East and West and North and South lose their absolute mean- 
ing through perception of the roundness of the earth, so life 
and death, growth and decay, strength and weakness, big and 
small, and all hard-and-fast distinctions become relative in an 
all-comprehensive all-levelling philosophy of relativity. 

The winter begins strictly on summer solstice, when the days 
begin to shorten, and the summer begins strictly on winter 
solstice, when the days begin to lengthen: this is the philosophy 
of alternate cycles and the hidden "germ," on which the whole 
Confucian "Philosophy of Mutations" (Yifyng) is based. The 
hidden germ (chi) and the manifest (chu) merely alternate, 
and the wise can foretell the future from the present alignment 
of proceeding and receding, or dominant and recessive, forces. 
The apple tree begins to die when it reaches its greatest flower- 
ing splendor, and the prime of power is the beginning of decay. 
The generations of men are not joined to each other like a 
string of sausages, but one begins while the other is in its prime, 
merging with it like the invisible curves of a woman's body. 
So also rise and decline in waves the generations of the thoughts 
of men. All life is like the ocean waves on a seashore to one 
who observes them closely; they recede while appearing to 
proceed and the water goes up when the crest begins to fall. 

From this arises the contempt for all philosophic absolutes. 
Such a philosophy destroys all Euclidean mathematics. Rela- 
tivity is a philosophy of life as well as a mathematical formula 
for explaining the universe. Only recently has science grown 
big enough for the theory of Relativity. But thousands of years 
ago Taoist sages, particularly Laotse and Chuangtse, jumped 
the mathematics, and by sheer breadth of vision and profundity 
of insight reached and anticipated its philosophic meaning 
the relativity of all standards. 



i 9 2 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

For this may be regarded as a summary of the cold skeleton 
of Chuangtse's philosophy regarding Relativity. "Dimensions 
are limitless; time is endless. Conditions are not constant; terms 
are not final" ss All standards are relative to the point of view 
of the onlooker. 

In regard to distinctions, if we say that a thing is great 
or small by its own standard, then there is nothing in all 
creation which is not great, nothing which is not small. 
To know that the universe is but as a tare-seed and the 
tip of a hair is [as big as] a mountain this is the standard 
of relativity. In regard to function, if we say that some- 
thing exists or does not exist by its own standard, then 
there is nothing which does not exist, nothing which does 
not perish. If we know that east and west are convertible, 
and yet necessary, terms in relation to each other, then such 
[relative] functions may be determined. 

The exact words for "relativity of standards" are "levelling 
of standards or gradations," but the philosophic meaning of 
the dependence of standards is quite apparent. The distinctions 
of high and low are likewise annihilated; the nadir is the be- 
ginning of the upward curve and therefore philosophically the 
highest point, the zenith is the beginning of the descending 
curve and philosophically the lowest. "To Tao, the zenith is 
not high, nor the nadir low; no point of time is long ago; nor 
by the lapse of ages has it grown old." The distinction between 
this (subjective) and that (objective) is relative, both being 
dependent on the speaker. 

Hence I say, "this" emanates from "that," and "that" also 
derives from "this." This the theory of the interdepend- 
ence of "this" and "that" . . . when "this" (subjective) 



38 Wisdom of China and India, p. 683. For following quotations from Chuangtse, 
see pp. 6853 636, 637, 631. 



SCIENCE TO THE RESCUE 193 

and "that" (objective) are both without their correlates, 
that is the very "Axis of Tao." And when that Axis passes 
through the center at which all Infinites converge, affirm- 
ations and denials alike blend into the infinite One. . . . 
[Therefore] only the truly intelligent understand this 
principle of levelling of all things into One. They discard 
the distinctions and take refuge in the common and ordi- 
nary things. The common and ordinary things serve cer- 
tain functions and retain the wholeness of nature. From 
this wholeness, one comprehends, and from comprehen- 
sion, one comes near to the Tao. 

Hence there is a Balance of Heaven according to which 
parallels meet. 

A keeper of monkeys said with regard to their ration of 
nuts that each monkey was to have three in the morning 
and four at night. At this the monkeys were very angry, 
Then the keeper said they might have four in the morning 
and three at night, with which arrangement they were 
well pleased. The actual number of nuts remained the 
same, but there was a difference owing to [subjective eval- 
uations of ] likes and dislikes. It also derives from this 
[principle of relativity]. Wherefore the true Sage brings 
all contraries together and rests in the natural Balance of 
Heaven. This is called [the principle of following] two 
courses \at once]. 

Hence all values are submerged, all distinctions are leveled, 
all judgments are relative to the onlooker's point of view, and 
all "material transformations** (wu-hua, an important concept 
in Chuangtse) are part of the cycle of life. The frog in the well 
is proud of his little puddle, the River Spirit is proud of his 
little autumn flood, the summer insect who knows not winter 
discusses ice, the lake sparrow cannot understand why the giant 



i 9 4 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

roc has to fly five thousand miles, Peng Tsu is proud of his 
long life of eight hundred years, the screech owl is proud of 
the dead rat in its claws, and little men are proud of their 
power and success! Therefore it is said, "The perfect man ig- 
nores self; the divine man ignores achievement; the true Sage 
ignores reputation." From such an understanding of the rela- 
tivity of all standards and of the cycle of life, the basis for con- 
tention and the belief in force is destroyed. Man finds his final 
repose in Tao, or knowledge of this cycle. "The Great [uni- 
verse] gives me this form, this toil in manhood, this repose in 
old age, this rest in Death. Surely that which is such a kind 
arbiter of my life is the best arbiter of my death." 39 

Such a spiritual softening of man's thinking and wisdom 
must come about; the crudities of a mechanistic belief in ma- 
terial, rectilinear absolutes must be worn off and made to dis- 
appear; action must be judged in waves and ripples and emerg- 
ing and submerging cycles, and to do this, a longer range must 
be taken, so that what appears to be a straight line may be seen 
to be a curve, and what appears a curved line may turn out to 
be the shortest route between two points. Nature herself is gen- 
tle and travels by waves, in the figure "S," circle interpenetrat- 
ing continuing circles, and in spite of obstacles goes on. Nature 
always bends. Believers in power and direct action who think 
that they are "thinking straight" are poor students of Nature. 

Therefore, following nature, according to Laotse: 

To yield is to be preserved whole, 
To be bent is to become straight. 
To be hollow is to be filled, 
To be tattered is to be renewed. 40 

**lbid., p. 659. Emerson's essay on "Circles'* is worth very careful study. His de- 
ductions about the rhythm of life and his difficulty in facing the practical outcome of 
"inaction" are very similar to Chuangtse's. He was the first American relativist. 

**lbid., p. 594. For following quotations from Laotse, see pp. 587, 586, 623, 608, 
609, 599, 600, 615, 623, 6 1 8, 60 1, 624, 623. 



SCIENCE TO THE RESCUE 195 

Believers in brute force, like Hitler, always take the logical, 
direct line, and this is why they run counter to nature and 
when a material obstacle meets their path, they have no escape 
and are destroyed. Laotse and Chuangtse have the knack of 
making Hitlers and would-be Hitlers of the world appear un- 
philosophical and foolish. Every structure of force crumbles, 
irrespective of who builds it. 

Stretch [a bow] to the very full, 
And you will wish you had stopped in time. 

Temper [a sword-edge] to its very sharpest, 
And the edge will not last long. 

Thus it is easy to see that from such a relativist and "circulist" 
philosophy, as against western traditional absolutism, certain 
remarkable changes will follow in man's outlook upon life. 
Such a philosophy has already produced changes in Chinese 
daily behavior to an extent that justifies its being called "ways 
that are dark" by westerners. It seems strange that whether you 
are a circulist or a believer in the impossibly naive rectilinear 
values of the West should make such a vast difference in your 
mental outlook, but it does. It affects your view of yourself, 
your fellow men, the way you meet fortune or disaster, and 
politics and peace itself. 

The first result is that it immediately abolishes the goosestep, 
and you learn to travel in the figure S, like a skater. You de- 
velop a certain deviousness of approach to problems, like a 
desire to hide in obscurity and avoid the spotlight, but you also 
gain a certain inner strength in meeting contingencies, on the 
belief that "Disaster is the avenue of fortune, and fortune is 
the concealment for disaster." You learn to be a little less direct 
and more subtle; you feel even a little happy when you know 
you are being taken advantage of, because you know that the 
man who likes to take advantage of others is bound to end up 



196 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

by being friendless. You develop an enormous patience with 
fools. 

The second result of this relativism is that you end up in 
Laotsean paradoxes. From the Chuangtsean "levelling of all 
distinctions/' you naturally reach the Laotsean inversion of all 
values. You begin to lose your faith in power and force and 
insolence and arrive at the Doctrine of Weakness as the strong- 
est thing in the world. And you begin to believe the following 
Laotsean paradoxes and imbibe a little of the Laotsean humor: 

The best of man is like water; 

Water benefits all things 

And does not compete with them. 
It dwells in (the lowly) places that all disdain, 

Wherein it comes near to the Tao. 

That weakness overcomes strength 
And gentleness overcomes rigidity, 
No one does not know; 
No one can put into practice. 

The greatest cleverness appears like stupidity; 
The greatest eloquence seems like stuttering. 
Movement overcomes cold, 
(But) keeping still overcomes heat. 

The good ones I declare good; 
The bad ones I also declare good. 

That is the goodness of Virtue. 
The honest ones I believe; 
The liars I also believe. 

That is the faith of Virtue. 

The third result, which follows from the above, is that you 
develop a contempt for force and conquest, because the strong- 
est army breaks first, even as Hitler's or Napoleon's did. As an 



SCIENCE TO THE RESCUE 197 

ancient Chinese proverb says, "The violent man shall die a 
violent death." If Nature is soft and goes in curves, the man 
who believes in force and direct action does not comprehend 
even the laws of the universe he is living in. Therefore: 

When the world lives in accord with Tao, 
Racing horses are turned back to haul refuse-carts. 
When the world lives not in accord with Tao, 
Cavalry abounds in the countryside. 

Therefore a good general effects his purpose and stops. 

He dares not rely upon the strength of arms; 
Effects his purpose and does not glory in it; 
Effects his purpose and does not boast of it; 
Effects his purpose and does not take pride in it; 

Effects his purpose as a regrettable necessity; 

Effects his purpose but does not love ^violence. / 
(For) things age after their prime. 
That (violence) would be against the Tao. 
And he who is against the Tao perishes young. 

I have no doubt therefore that Laotse's solutions for the 
problems of the relationship between big and small powers and 
for the peace settlement are the only ones that are basically 
sound and lasting: 

A big country (must be like) the delta low-regions, 

Being the concourse of the world, 

(And) the Female of the world. 
The Female overcomes the Male by quietude, 
And achieves the lowly position by quietude. 

Therefore if a big country places itself below a small 

country, 
It absorbs the small country. 



198 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

(And) if a small country places itself below a big 

country, 
It absorbs the big country. 

Therefore some place themselves low to absorb 

(others), 

Some are (naturally) low and absorb (others). 
What a big country wants is but to shelter others. 
And what a small country wants is but to be able 

to come and be sheltered. 
Thus (considering) that both may have what they 

want, 
A big country ought to place itself low. 

In a truly civilized peace treaty, the "guilt clause" will be 
abolished. For according to Laotse: 

Patching up a great hatred is sure to leave some 

hatred behind. 

How can this be regarded as satisfactory ? 
Therefore the Sage holds the left tally, 
And does not put the guilt on the other party. 
The virtuous man is for patching up; 
The vicious is for fixing guilt 
But "the way of Heaven is impartial, 
It sides only with the good man." 

Only at a peace conference where both opponents insist on 
fixing the guilt on oneself will there be permanent peace. 

The fourth and last result is that, knowing the law of the 
cycle of life, man would seek to live in harmony with that uni- 
versal law, thus avoiding ruin for himself and reaching that 
truly religious level which comes from comprehension of the 
universe itself. 



SCIENCE TO THE RESCUE 199 

I have Three Treasures; 

Guard them and keep them safe: 
The first is Love. 
The second is, Never too much* 
The third is, Never be the first in the world. 

Through Love, one has no fear; 

Through not doing too much, one has amplitude 

(of reserve power) ; 

Through not presuming to be the first in the world, 
One can develop one's talent and let it mature. 

For love is victorious in attack, 

And invulnerable in defense. 
Heaven arms with love 

Those it would not see destroyed. 

Curiously, through such a world outlook, which is the very 
antithesis of the doctrine of power, Laotse arrived at an abso- 
lutely identical position with Jesus, not only with regard to 
"not requiting evil with hatred," but also in the following truly 
religious perceptions: 

The Heaven and Earth join, 

And the sweet rain falls, 
Beyond the command of men, 

Yet evenly upon all 

He lives for other people, 

And grows richer himself; 
He gives to other people, 

And has greater abundance. 

Who receives unto himself the calumny of the world 

Is the preserver of the state. 
Who bears himself the sins of the world 

Is the King of the World. 



200 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

Somehow the laws of the moral universe have been discovered 
independently in Asia Minor and Asia Major and ultimately 
agree. And both seem to revel in paradoxes a little too subtle 
for the goose-stepping modern scientific man. 

A hurricane cannot last long, says Laotse; modern civiliza- 
tion is a hurricane. Only by some such dulling of the edges and 
softening of the corners of man's thinking can the present civi- 
lization, faced with growing sharp conflicts, be saved. The 
"dregs and tumors of virtue'' have to be cut out. They are dis- 
gusting in the sight of Tao. 



22 

THE SEARCH FOR PRINCIPLES 

WE HAVE strayed far into the field of Nature. It is time that 
we come home and remember that we are men. The only im- 
portant philosophical question of today is: what are we, and 
what is man? 

When Confucius heard that a stable had burnt down, he 
asked if any man was hurt, but "did not inquire about the 
horses/' I am such a "humanist" that I do not care if the whole 
species of horses and dogs and cats and rabbits are wiped out, 
if man hereafter can live in peace. This may sound a little 
Oriental and heathenish, but there are, on the other hand, men 
whose minds are almost as limited in compass as mine, and 
who, while very much devoted to the very lovable dogs, have 
not yet any conception of the brotherhood of all men. I am 
sure horses think the same way, too. The white horses are de- 
voted to man, but have nothing but contempt for brown and 
bay horses, and the brown and bay horses have nothing but 
contempt for the spotted ones. Horse love, I understand, is only 



THE SEARCH FOR PRINCIPLES 201 

skin deep* The most inconceivable barriers of pigment exist. In 
the same way, a bulldog will patronize a human being,, but 
must persecute his brother, the Irish terrier, because his own 
tail is straight and smooth while the other dog has a wiry tail 
and somewhat too much of a mustache. How the westerners 
laugh at Chinese high cheekbones and almond eyes and how 
the Chinese laugh at the westerners* hairy chests and arms! 

But this state of things is not funny any more. We are start- 
ing out on an era of compulsory world living with all the 
tribalistic traits of a past epoch and the psychology of the bull- 
dog-terrier racial prejudices. We talk lightly of world co-opera- 
tion and world government without realizing the immense 
complexities of the new problems, not only in respect of their 
size, but also in respect of their nature. 

Perhaps Aristotle's Politics is broad enough, or perhaps it 
isn't, but a modern Aristotle, his analytical mind exercised over 
the new problems created by a world state, would ponder very 
deeply and seek for certain cardinal principles. Aristotle would 
be what we call a "realist," but his realism would be profound, 
and he would not necessarily potter around with "expedien- 
cies" in ignorance of first principles. He would still classify the 
three possibilities of the government of the world, Hke those of 
a state, as being the rule of the one, the rule of the few, and the 
rule of the many, but taking the nations instead of individuals 
as the units. He would still postulate the good and bad forms 
of each: the good being monarchy, aristocracy, and timocracy; 
the bad being tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy. And he 
would picture how these different principles would operate, 
and speculate how each might degenerate and how each might 
evolve into, or be replaced by, another form. And he would 
still apply his psychology of motivation, and would maintain: 

In considering how dissensions and political revolutions 
arise > we must first of all ascertain the beginnings and 
causes of them which affect constitutions generally. . . ~ 



202 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

The universal and chief cause of this revolutionary feeling 
has already been mentioned; viz., the desire of equality* 
when men think that they are equal to others who have 
more than themselves; or again, the desire of inequality 
and superiority, when conceiving themselves to be superior 
they think that they have not more but the same or less 
than their inferiors; pretensions which may or may not be 



just. 41 



He would find the two desires, for equality and for inequal- 
ity or superiority, still operating today in respect of a World 
Federation and as causing all dissensions or revolutions that 
may consequently come up. And he would not conceive of any 
one form of World Government as so perfect, so good, so just, 
that it would not undergo internal transformations from psy- 
chological causes, or even evolve from one form to another by 
a series of world revolutions. He would rather try his best to 
see that the best and the most just form be adopted to ensure 
the greatest stability. Being a knower of human nature and its 
corruptibility, he would be realistic and would probably de- 
spair of a Utopian settlement. But his would be a less media-- 
nistic mind than ours, and he would certainly not agree with 
Ely Culbertson's international contract bridge, or trust a me- 
chanical elaboration of a World Police Force and say to him- 
self "There is the basis of an enduring peace." On the other 
hand, having read Locke now, he would at once plunge into 
a discussion of the principles of coercion and consent, and their 
manifold reactions. In addition to the forms like world tyranny 
(rule of one nation), world oligarchy (rule of a few rich na- 
tions), and world democracy (rule of the many nations), he 
would also postulate the collapse of all and a reversion to na- 
tional autarchy, which in view of the present state of nation- 
alistic psychology, might most likely result, 

Aristotle would, I am sure, agree with the general principle 

41 Aristotle Politics, tr. by Jowett (Oxford), p. 14$. 



THE SEARCH FOR PRINCIPLES 203 

that world peace must be enforced by a world police. But he 
would analyze the problem further in respect of three points: 
what to police, who are to police, and who are to be policed, 
and why. Such a dispassionate examination would reveal that 
certain things can be policed and certain things not. For in- 
stance, he would believe that only such laws and traditions as 
command the general public approval can be enforced by the 
police, that police power derives from public approval and sense 
of justice and not from tear-gas bombs or tommy guns, and that 
policing an unjust order would be the maintaining by force of a 
state of things due for a change. So he would be careful to point 
out that before we decide to police and maintain by force some- 
thing, we have to make clear what that thing is. Whether, for 
instance, it will be constrained to defend the status quo against 
"acts of rebellion against the World Government." Secondly, 
he would closely examine the area and the neighborhood to be 
policed. He would not try to police too much a peaceful neigh- 
borhood, but would concentrate on certain gangster sections 
that in the past have repeatedly upset public order, where the 
most "muggings" have been going on. Only the principle of 
historic experience would seem to serve as safe guidance in 
regard to those to be policed and those selected to do the po- 
licing. And in equity, he would be forced to the conclusion that 
those nations which have in the past most disturbed others, 
have been most aggressive, most imperialistic, ought to be the 
policed nations, and those that have observed the principles of 
good neighbors ought to be the policing nations. Thus he 
would probably arrive at the astounding conclusion that Eski- 
mos, Javanese, Samoans, Chinese, and Americans, Danes, 
Swiss, etc, ought to police the Japanese, the Germans, the Eng- 
lish, the French, and the Italians. The Spaniards and Portu- 
guese, though having been once in their time bloodthirsty 
pirates, ought to be given liberal consideration on parole and 
good behavior. 
In view, however, of the "desire of inequality" of the "Big 



204 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

Powers/' suck a scheme is obviously unacceptable. There would 
probably be a sort of compromise, excluding none and based. 
on complete equality for all nations, or it would lose its police 
character and have the characteristics of an agglomeration of 
powers. Following such a principle of common consent and 
common equality, the best solution would be for the World 
Police to "belong" to no particular nation, as no community 
police belongs to any socially prominent members of the com- 
munity. Such a community police may now and then dis- 
tribute small, private favors to the socially prominent members,, 
such as better lighting on certain streets or shifting "no park- 
ing" signs in their favor, since they pay more taxes, but this 
must be underhanded and the state of things must not become 
unbearable to the other poorer members of the community or 
enrage the public sense of justice. 

And over all these questions must stand the philosophic ques- 
tion whether the World Government is to be preponderantly 
laissez-faire * according to Rousseau, or preponderantly regi- 
mentalizedj according to Hobbes; whether it is to be a govern- 
ment by Polizei, according to Prussian Nazism, or government 
by self-government according to Jeff ersonian democracy and the 
old-roguish Chinese. There is so much trouble that could be 
avoided if we did not poke our nose into it. The point imme- 
diately suggests itself, that the greater the area of government, 
and the more scattered the populations, the less can force be 
relied upon in government 

The Chinese, having governed their country for four thou- 
sand years without lawyers or police, and having had some 
experience in the matter of governing large areas, would in- 
stinctively incline toward JefFersonian democracy. After all, a 
nation that believes in government by worship and song, by 
rituals and music, must be a little stunned by the idea of gov- 
ernment by Polizei. The Chinese would probably lead the re- 
volt against the Polizei, and they have certain ways of dealing 
with the police. They believe it is their duty to corrupt them 



THE SEARCH FOR PRINCIPLES 205 

by sending the police sergeant a present when his wife gives 
birth to a baby because he is so obliging as to stand and guard 
our doors. They have no idea that he is there to guard public 
order, since public order is already guarded by scrolls of prov- 
erbs and public laughter at transgressors the thief has a 
bad mother but they understand he is there to open limou- 
sine doors for rich men arriving at sumptuous hotels* They are 
not rich themselves, but they can also buy the policeman's 
small favors by pulling him into their house on a hot day and 
giving him a cup of tea. Just by sheer human experience, they 
have found that no policeman in the world can .resist such cor- 
ruption. And the Burmese, the Javanese, the Eskimos, the Sa- 
moans, the Caucasian villagers, and the Brazilians and the 
Chileans would join with the Chinese and shout to the French, 
the English, the Germans, and the Americans: "What the hell! 
Why do we require your police ? We ain't got Krupp guns or 
parachutists here. Why don't you police yourselves? Why don't 
you try to police Moscow?" 

One may make here also a parenthetical remark about Amer- 
ica. America has a fair record, not a blameless, but a fair rec- 
ord, in respect of imperialism. The American is too good a 
democrat to be a successful imperialist He pats the foreigners 
on the back and American doughboys pull rickshaws for Hin- 
dus out of sheer fun. That is the last thing an imperialist should 
do. You haven't got the imperialist instinct. You can't frater- 
nize with "natives" and be their masters. The fellows whose 
backs you pat today will think tomorrow that they are as good 
as you are, and good-by to your empire! It's rather odd, isn't it, 
the way humans think? But America has developed enough 
power, and power is a dangerous thing, and I am winking and 
blinking to see what she is going to do with that power. Amer- 
ica, having come of age, is like a research doctor who suddenly 
finds himself married to a socialite. "It's the war," the doctor 
says, trying to explain his marriage. To go on with the research 
or move in with his socialite wife to cure corns and misshapen 



206 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

nails for the rich is now this doctor's central spiritual problem 
and this is the only important problem that faces America 
today. For America today stands at the crossroads. Be a re- 
search doctor, I say. 



23 

THE COMMON STANDARD FOR MEN 

WE HAVE not yet decided what is the nature of man. We 
cannot set up a World Federation of man without knowing 
what are the constituent units. So far we know only that they 
belong to five categories: White, Black, Red, Yellow, and 
Brown. What about the White, Black, Red, Yellow, and Brown ? 
We know next to nothing. Then without a common denom- 
inator, how do we expect to put them together and expect such 
a conglomeration to work ? 

The question of racial and nationalistic antagonisms in the 
world state must be solved. Apart from its size, World Govern- 
ment faces a problem that no national government faces to the 
same degree. Apart from racial and religious differences that 
do often exist inside a nation, there is a disrupting force of 
well-entrenched and growing modern nationalism, which 
would be comparable only to active racial antagonisms in 
groups inside a state. But the principles that hold with respect 
to racial and religious antagonisms inside a peaceful state can- 
not be different from the principles for a World Government 
torn by competitive nationalisms. The Swiss Republic has been 
able to exist with all its internal racial and linguistic groups on 
the principles of equity, justice, and freedom for all. Evidently, 
common beliefs make a common nation, and only common 
beliefs make a common world. Religious beliefs may differ in 



THE COMMON STANDARD FOR MEN 207 

a nation, but at least the Jews and Catholics and Protestants in 
America have certain fundamental beliefs in democratic values 
and the values of living as a whole, and, furthermore, they are 
willing all to believe that no one is better than anybody else. 
I/ the world is to junction as a unit, the faith must ultimately 
develop equally that no nation is better than any other nation. 

But what do we mean by "better"? Where is the common 
standard for all men? Such a faith must first establish that 
races are equal as human beings, and secondly indicate wherein 
humanity as such can be distinguished from the beasts. As with 
individuals, so with nations, equality cannot be proved by 
standards of intelligence or creative ability or moral integrity. 
It will have to be a mystic standard, a bland assertion that we 
are all equal just because we are all men. 

In other words, we revert to the somewhat unprovable as- 
sumption of "human dignity" if we want to be spiritual, or, if 
we want to be "realistic," say that we are equal because we 
happen to be all tail-less bipeds. Whether you believe in the 
version of "human dignity" or in the version of "tail-less bi- 
peds" depends upon your approach, since one is scientifically 
verifiable and the other not. For one, the voice of the heart is 
proof itself of "human dignity"; for the other, it is sheer senti- 
mentality which explains why the believer in the biped version 
is always so cynical in other problems of national and world 
politics. So even the basis of agreement that we are all "born 
equal" has a practical bearing on other problems. It would 
make no sense for the biped to be particularly noble to his 
neighbors. The believer in the innate dignity of all men would 
scorn the biped's naturalism, while the biped believer would 
call the other's theory moronic sentimental rubbish. What is 
to be our standard, and which is right? 

It happens there is a tremendous amount of "moronic sen- 
timental rubbish" in the Chinese philosopher, Mencius, who 
not only believed in the innate goodness of man, but believed 
also in man's essential spirituality and that on this basis of 



ao8 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

spirituality alone, all men are equal Mencius was therefore 
able to evolve a theory of the common dignity and humanity 
of man, which the Chinese nation as a whole has accepted, for 
he ranks next only to Confucius. Mencius clearly and ade- 
quately established the common standard for all men. The 
"equality" of man was not mystical, or based on a theological 
structure. It had even nothing to do with over- or under-pig- 
mentation. 

Mencius wanted to establish the common standard of all 
men and distinguish man from the beasts, a difference which, 
he pointed out again and again, consisted of an extremely small 
margin. Since the margin is admittedly so perilously small, 
even in modern days, we have reason to listen carefully. I am 
in fact a little desperate and am willing to listen to any theory 
of any other philosopher who can tell us in clear, unmystical 
and nontheological terms why he thinks man is not a beast. 
All the scientific learning of the past century has tended rather 
to make us think or strongly suspect that in fact, after all, 
we are beasts and little else, and we are clinging to the notion 
of human "dignity" obstinately just by ignoring our professors 
and refusing to listen to reason. Can anyone give a good, non- 
theological reason ? 

Mencius was puzzled by the behavior of a beggar, and by a 
curious human phenomenon: that all animals love life as the 
highest value, but men sometimes spurn it. (Mencius, I think, 
is wrong about the animals.) His inference was that there was 
a higher value for man than animal survival, and furthermore 
that all men shared this value. 

A man's life or death may sometimes depend upon a 
bamboo basket of rice and a bowl of soup, but if you say 
to a starving man passing by, "Hey, Mister!" and offer it 
to him with insults, he will refuse to take them; or if you 
offer them to a beggar with a kick, the beggar will not 
receive them. 



THE COMMON STANDARD FOR MEN 209 
Therefore, Mencius says, 

I love life, but there is something that I love more than 
life, and therefore I would not have life at any price. I 
also hate death, but there is something that I hate more 
than death, and therefore I would not avoid danger at any 
price. If there is nothing that man loves more than life, 
then would he not permit himself to do anything in order 
to save it? And if there is nothing that man hates more 
than death, then why does he not avoid dangers that could 
be avoided ? And so there are times when a man would 
forsake his life, and there are times when a man would 
not avoid danger. It is not only the good men who have 
this heart (or feeling) that there are times when they 
would jorsakf life and would not avoid danger. All men 
have this heart, only the good men have been able to pre- 
serve it** 

The Mencian standard of common humanity is,, in one word, 
that there is a common heart in man, or in our phraseology, 
all races have essentially the same hopes, aspirations, joys, and 
sorrows, and that it is these common feelings that unite us, 
and establish our essential equality. Then he goes on to prove 
how men as a species are psychologically the same, which 
makes a common standard in tastes, sounds, and the sense of 
right and wrong possible. Proceeding from the analogy of 
wheat, Mencius says, 

Therefore all who belong to the same species are es- 
sentially alike. Why should you doubt that this holds true 
also of human beings ? The Sages belong to the same spe- 
cies as ourselves. As Lungtse says, "A man who proceeds 
to make a pair of shoes without knowing the foot meas- 



43 } Wisdom of Confucius (Modern Library), p. 285. For following quotations from 
Mencius, see Ibid., pp. 281-282, and Wisdom of China and India, pp. 724, 762-763. 



210 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

urements will at least not end up by making a wicker 
basket." Shoes are alike because the people's feet are alike. 
There is a common taste for flavor in our mouths. Yiya [a 
famous cook] is but one who has discovered our common 
taste for food* If, for instance, one man's taste for flavors 
should differ from that of another man, as the tastes of 
dogs and horses who belong to a different species differ 
from the human taste, then why should the whole world 
follow the judgment of Yiya in regard to flavor? Since in 
the matter of food the whole world regards Yiya as the 
ultimate standard, we must admit that our tastes for flavors 
are alike. The same thing is true of our ears. The whole 
world regards Master K'uang [famous musician] as the 
ultimate standard, and we must admit that our ears are 
alike. . * , Therefore I say there is a common love for 
flavors in our mouths, a common sense for sounds in our 
ears, and a common sense for beauty in our eyes. Why 
then do we refuse to admit that there is something com- 
mon In our hearts? What is that thing that we have in 
common In our hearts? It is reason and a sense of right. 
The Sage is one who has -first discovered what is common 
in our hearts. Therefore, reason and the sense of right 
please our minds as beef and pork and mutton please our 
palates. 

Mencius then proceeds to point out four things common to 
the hearts of men, which establish first the equality of all men 
with the Sages, secondly the essential identity of all humanity, 
and thirdly disqualify one from being regarded as "a man" 
as soon as he loses them. 

The heart of mercy is in all men; the sense of shame is 
in all men; the sense of courtesy and respect is in all men; 
the sense of right and wrong is in all men. 



THE COMMON STANDARD FOR MEN 211 

Mencius proves it in the following manner: 

Even now-a-days, when men suddenly see a child about 
to fall into a well, they will all experience a feeling of 
alarm and distress. They will feel so, not that they may 
thereon gain the favor of the child's parents; nor that they 
may seek the praise of their neighbors and friends; nor 
from a dislike of the sound [of the falling child]. Hence 
it is that he who has not a heart of mercy is not a man; 
who has not a sense of shame is not a man; who has not 
a sense of courtesy and consideration for others is not a 
man; who is without a sense of right and wrong is not a 
man. 

Mencius conveniently forgot about pigment, although there 
were enough racial differences in China to justify his referring 
to some tribes as talking a "bird language." In fact, he pointed 
out that two of the most illustrious rulers of China, Emperor 
Shun and King Wen, were one "an Eastern barbarian" and 
the other "a Western barbarian," but that both rose to universal 
leadership through a "common standard" (i-J^uet) of moral 
power. Such convenient forgetfulness about pigment seems to 
make it easy for the nations of the world, whether "United" or 
not, to develop some fundamental faith in racial equality. He 
did not even mention the standards of industrial capacity or 
the modern standards of living. By these standards of pigment, 
industrial capacity, and standards of living we can never be 
equal. 

For what are the standards of living and are they not chang- 
ing almost every decade? Did the Barretts of Wimpole Street 
have enamel bathtubs? Did Dr. Johnson ever use a flush toilet 
or have any idea of a sanitary latrine? Did Charles Dickens ever 
hear a radio? Did Goethe ever handle a camera? Did Hum- 
boldt ever wash from hot and cold water taps? Did he not 
wash from an earthen basin and water jug? Was Dryden's 



212 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

room ever steam-heated or air-cooled or electric-lighted? Did 
Charles Lamb ever see Ginger Rogers or use a plastic tooth- 
brush? Did Wordsworth ever cross in the Hudson tunnel or 
drive on the Merritt Parkway? Did Will Shakespeare ever in 
his life read one newspaper, not to speak of going to a movie 
once a week or listening to Flagstad? Did he have a copy of 
the first English Dictionary, which Dr. Johnson compiled a 
hundred and fifty years after him? Did his school bench at 
Stratford-on-Avon have a collapsible seat, and was the school- 
room well lighted ? Did he ever see a dentist on Park Avenue ? 
And did the "second best bed" he so ungenerously bequeathed 
to his wife have Simmons springs? To come down to modern 
times, did Thomas Edison ever see Errol Flynn? Did Luther 
Burbank ever see Radio City? Did Elinor Wylie see a television 
broadcast or Will Rogers see a Flying Fortress? Has Albert 
Einstein ever really spoken on a transatlantic wifeless tele- 
phone? As we laugh at the costumes and manners of the 
eighteen-nineties, so posterity will laugh at us only twenty or 
thirty years from now. Why must we be the mirror to the 
universe? Where are the standards? 

The invalid assumptions must fall away, and some common 
standard for all humanity must be rediscovered. Mencius 
repudiated the biped theory and re-established the common 
standard of man by the identity of spiritual values. This stands 
as a challenge to this mechanical age. k 

We have covered some important ground, ignoring the 
swine-and-slop economic statistics of a thousand postwar plans, 
revealing their utter futility in preventing World War III, and 
relating the present world chaos to the disintegration of moral 
values and ideas in the modern world. I have tried to show that 
this world chaos and inevitable wars and conflicts are related 
to our changing ideas of the nature of the universe and the 
nature of man. I have tried to show that war is inseparably 
related to power politics, power politics to the naturalistic view 



THE COMMON STANDARD FOR MEN 213 

of human society, and the naturalistic view of human society 
to the influence of scientific materialism and determinism upon 
the human studies and modern thought. The deeper question 
of war and peace hinges upon what we think of man, whether 
he is a chemical compound and therefore a slave of mechanical 
laws of struggle, or whether he has the freedom of the will of 
which Buddha and all teachers of the past spoke. But the chains 
of materialism, naturalism, power politics and war are forged 
so fast that from them the modern man finds no escape. The 
only knowledge available to us in swine-and-slop economic 
postwar planning is merely the rearrangement of these chains 
so that they shall rest a little more easily on the ankles or 
shoulder blades of the mechanical slave. There is a great deal 
of scientific specialized knowledge which is very impressive, 
but the best scientist of peace today is merely an expert in 
anatomy who in his infinite wisdom tells you where the tactile 
nerves are the least sensitive and where your hide is the thickest 
so that when the whip descends, you shall be able to bear it 
with the least self-pity, and even with some fatalistic cheer un- 
der the inevitable mechanical laws of necessity. No scientist 
pretends to break these chains that are binding the spirit of 
modern man. 

Curiously we have stumbled upon Mencius who, in recover- 
ing for us a spiritual concept of man, has provided us with a 
doctrine of equality of all men, a basis for world co-operation 
among the races of mankind, and the possibility of freedom. 
He has given us a more flattering view of man than that of 
mechanical robots which the thousand scientific idiots of the 
past century have been trying to tell us that we are. At the cost 
of repetition, I must say that materialists must continue to fight 
wars eternally. Materialists cannot end wars or devise a peace. 
They have not the brains for it Materialists have not the cour- 
age to hope. They are not hoping now. 

Funny little man, how he conquers the world and is afraid 
of a little idea, determinism, as if from it he had no escape! A 



214 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

subtle thought might one day seep into man's mind and lend 
him an escape. It will be just a little idea, come like a tiny key, 
which the angels shall send us and which shall gently and 
easily open the chains of mortal man, and that little key is 
called Free Will Then, with that little key, Prometheus shall 
be unbound. 



EPILOGUE 

WHAT I have written I have written. In every age, Liberty 
and Reaction go side by side, and he who would be a soldier 
of peace had better have discerning eyes. And he who has 
visions of Peace and sees how she is pushed out of our doors 
and denied entrance, even though she lingers so close beside 
our doorsteps, will see her turn her steps, bend her head, and 
silently walk away. Peace and Power are two jealous women 
and always refuse to stay in the same house. Our rulers are 
courting and cavorting with the harlot, and while Peace sees 
them through the window and hears the mad laughter* the 
bawdy noisiness, and the clinking of champagne glasses inside, 
she will turn her steps away and never come. For Peace is a 
lady, and she comes to our house only when she knows she 
is loved. But those who are guiding the nations' destinies are 
hypocrites; they love not her but the wench Power, and she 
knows it. Therefore her face will be hidden from us until she 
knows that we love her truly and not the harlot Power, 

Therefore I hate the harlot and the men cavorting in her 
company, because I am thinking of their children. Peace is 
near, but she will never enter. For a great feast is going on 
and the champagne flows. My friends are having great dreams, 
the most fabulous dreams, of their life. Despise not the harlot, 
either, for she has magic. Men can be drunk with her opulence 
and her beauty, which set their blood coursing and their nerves 



EPILOGUE 215 

tingling, and then imagine themselves poets or kings while 
the intoxication lasts. They are counting the extent of their 
empires and the glory of their power. "Why," they say to 
themselves, "this time we shall roll up the world and put it 
in our pockets." The wine of the harlot Power is intoxicating; 
there is a drug in it. 

And then the morning will come. The madness of the night 
before will have become plain. It was the last night of Nebu- 
chadnezzar. The world will collapse around them, bankruptcy 
will be declared, and these things they shall see with their own 
eyes. An auctioneer will come in to tag numbers on the ances- 
tral portraits; there will be much confusion and noise and a 
rough lad will sit and test the bed where the mistress slept the 
night before. Then furniture-movers will come in and step 
on the carpets with their heavy boots caked with mud; no 
heirloom will be spared; the ancestral portraits will be thrown 
together higgledy-piggledy with wash pails and mops and sent 
to the auction shop. After all is gone and the walls are bare, 
their children will walk hand in hand out from the front door, 
poor orphans, and leave the door ajar, the disinherited. A new 
tenant will move in and start repapering the walls and setting 
new chairs by the fireside and say, "A new day begins." 

But, Peace, go not away. We have not yet made up our 
minds. The men are only beginning to drink the champagne 
of Power. Some are slightly tipsy, but others are not. Cry 
loudly, soldiers of peace, perhaps she may listen. She may yet 
change her mind, if we say to her, "We all want you to stay, 
whatever your terms. This is our unconditional surrender. For 
we want you to live with our children and bless them with 
your gentleness and your plenty." 

These are simple words. But, as Emerson says, "The simplest 
words we do not know what they mean except when we love 
and aspire." It seems that this cynic generation of power 
politicians and intellectual critics, struck by an invisible malady, 
has lost the capacity for love and the courage to hope. There- 



216 BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER 

fore they are impotent and cannot bring us peace. But when 
the world shall have felt a passion for peace and another gen- 
eration of men shall have recaptured their courage to love 
and to aspire, then Peace shall steal unaware into our room, 
and putting her hands across our eyes from behind, whisper, 
"Guess who?" And before we know it, when we least expect 
her, she is there to remain by our fireside and bless us and our 
children with her presence. 



11 

QQ 




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